A Grinnell doctor’s quick thinking may have saved a child from injury or death in a hot car this week, after the absent-minded mother made a couple dangerous mistakes. Doctor David Coster says it was not a case of a forgotten baby, though there was an immediate risk to the child on that hot Monday. A patient was in a hurry to make way for another car trying to park out front of the office, and closed the door with her infant daughter inside, not realizing it would lock and she’d left her keys in the car. The forecast Monday was for highs in the 90s. He could see right away there was trouble as the child in the car was very flushed and listless. Alerted by a patient who’d looked out the window, Dr. Coster went to the car where the distraught mother was at a loss. He says the mother was frantic and had called her partner instead of police, and was waiting for help from someone who was 20 minutes away. The doctor broke a window and got the child out of the car, but says anyone who drives with children in the car should consider what they’d do in the same situation. He says you can’t think clearly, but the best advice is to call 911 if it’s possible, and if not to go to the nearest place where someone CAN call for help. The child was taken from the car unharmed.
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