Retired police officer Steve Eckel was on his way to shop at a local store in Howell, New Jersey, when a child inside a parked car caught his eye. Upon closer inspection, it was clear that the child had a flushed face, that he was shaking and crying inside and that no one was there. Steve knew he had to act and didn’t hesitate to save the baby before it was too late, so he grabbed a hammer from the trunk of his car and rushed to free the baby.

There was a child in an unattended car described as bright red, all windows folded up.

Steve Eckel, a retired police officer and father of six, quickly becomes a hero after searching his own car and finding a hammer to get into the locked car.

He happened to have a hammer because he was recently working on a renovation project. The child was helpless, wearing a pink shirt, sweating profusely and quickly losing consciousness.

Eckel manages to get in the car and retrieve the child, cool him down and see a doctor.

After investigation, the interior temperature of the car was determined to be around 120 degrees. “Things happen for a reason,” the retired officer said in a recent video of his heroic efforts.

The World Health Organization reports that more than 36 children die each year in hot cars in the United States, making Steve’s discovery and quick thinking a real life-saving moment for this child and his family.

Ways to make sure your kids are safe in the car include car seat alarms to alert the driver when a child is in their seat and apps to remind you to always check in the back.

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