Ottawa toddler found wandering in -22C

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:36 PM ET

OTTAWA — A woman who had stopped to get a coffee on her way to work ended up rescuing a toddler, who was found wandering alone in the freezing cold in east Ottawa early Friday.

The three-year-old boy, clad only in pyjamas, was treated for hypothermia.

He was shortly before 5 a.m. The passing motorist then scooped up the tot, and put him in her car, while she called for help.

As officers arrived, they also found the mother, who had been out looking for her son.

It is estimated he was outside for less than 30 minutes, and hadn't travelled too far.

But the bitter cold could have turned it into a tragedy.

With a frostbite warning in effect, temperatures overnight had dipped to a chilling - 22 C.

Paramedics, who also responded to the call, said such sub-zero weather can be dangerous even for a short time, and little kids can be especially susceptible to its effects.

"Even if he was outside for five minutes, he would start to have some signs of hypothermia," paramedic spokesman Frank Lalonde said.

He was taken to hospital and treated for mild hypothermia, and was in stable condition. There were no reports of any other injuries.

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