ST. GEORGE (News4Utah) – Police say a good Samaritan helped save a baby left in a hot vehicle Sunday evening.
Police say the mom was shopping at Smith’s Marketsplace on Mall Drive in St. George when a stranger heard the baby crying in the backseat of the car.
“Fortunately the vehicle was not locked, so this woman was able to take the baby out of the vehicle while she was on the phone with dispatch,” said Officer Lona Trombley with St. George police.
Police say the baby was sweaty and taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center.
The mother was inside the store.
“The mother had left the other children at home with another grownup and had gone to the store with the baby, but when she got to the store the baby was very quiet, and she forgot that she had the baby,” said Trombley.
The mother was cited for child abuse. It was 87 degrees outside when police were called.
“If the temperature outside is 93 degrees, it can become 125 degrees inside a vehicle within 20 minutes,” said Dr. Marty Nygaard, pediatrician and medical director of Intermountain Medical Group in St. George and Cedar City.
“Everybody’s human. … We can get busy and distracted … take steps to avoid that happening… Put your phone or your purse back with [the baby]. You can’t go into the store without any of those things,” said Trombley.
“It’s important to lock your car if it’s in your driveway or even in the garage because if they leave the house, if they go get in the car and lock themselves in it can be a problem,” said Nygaard.
Another tip that Officer Trombley gives is to leave something of the baby’s in the front seat with you such as a pair of shoes or a sippy-cup to remind you when you park that the baby is in the backseat.
According to the organization ‘Kids and Cars’, 36 children die each year in hot cars.