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Toddler found outside in freezing temps

February 12, 2014 - Brandon Twp.- Locked doors help keep criminals out and they also help keep children in.

An unsecured door ultimately led to a 2-year-old child being found alone outside in the snow recently amidst temperatures that were in the single digits.

According to an Oakland County Sheriff's Office police report, a Brandon deputy responded to the 4400 block of Dogwood for a welfare check on a baby, after a passing motorist saw the girl sitting alone in a pile of snow wearing only a T-shirt at about 9:30 a.m., Feb. 3. National Weather Service Meteorologist Debra Elliott said temperatures in the area that morning ranged from 1 degree to 8 degrees by 10 a.m.

The motorist stopped her vehicle, picked up the child and knocked on the open door of a nearby residence which it appeared the child may have come from. An adult female answered the door and said the child was hers. The complainant gave the toddler to the woman.

When the deputy went to the home, he spoke with the child's father, who said his wife was with their 2-year-old daughter while he took his other children to school. He said the front door is broken and sometimes does not latch when shut and the 2-year-old must have opened the door while his wife was resting after working the midnight shift.

The father said he checked over his child and she appeared to be OK. No medical attention was requested. The case has been turned over to Child Protective Services for review.

Elliott said with temperatures in the single digits, frostbite can occur within 30 minutes in calm conditions. If there is wind, the time until frostbite sets in can drop down to 10 minutes.

OCSO Sgt. Pete Burkett reminds residents that in the current weather, extreme vigilance is required to keep children, the elderly, and pets safe.

"You have to be so careful to make sure doors are secured," he said, noting that last January, an 80-year-old woman froze to death in the township after wandering away from her home.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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