It could happen to any parent. In the school drop-off flurry, your child plays a trick on you, hides in the back of the car, and remains there as you drive to work.
This is exactly what happened to a Melbourne mum yesterday. But things took a turn for the worse when the little boy’s trick went on for too long. His distraught mother found him unresponsive in the back of the car on the scorching hot day, several hours later.
As the temperatures in Melbourne soared past 30 degrees yesterday, the mum did her usual school drop-off at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Spotswood. She didn’t notice that one of her kids had hidden in the very back of their Kia Carnival minivan.
As she drove the four kilometres to work – at another local school in Melbourne’s inner west – her little boy remained as quiet as ever in the back. The mum locked the car and headed into work, completely unaware that her young son was still hiding.
With the scorching sun beating down on the black minivan, the little boy remained inside, his body slowly shutting down from the intense heat.
Boy found unresponsive in back of car
At 2.45pm the mum returned to the car only to discover her son unresponsive in the back.
Emergency services transported him to Royal Children’s Hospital in a critical condition where he remains today.
In a statement, the Education Department said it was providing support and counselling to the family of the child and members of the school community who were impacted by “this horrible incident”.
“Our thoughts are with the family at this very difficult time. On behalf of the school we request that the media respect the family’s privacy,” says the statement from the department..
Hot cars not only a danger for infants and toddlers
This shocking trick-gone-wrong acts as a stark reminder of just how dangerous a hot car can be.
Kidsafe Victoria president Doctor Mark Stokes warns that the temperature inside a car can reach 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. Temperatures hit 33 degrees in Melbourne the day the little boy hid in the car.
“On a 29 degree Celsius day, a car can reach 44 degrees in just 10 minutes. And a deadly 60 degrees in 20 minutes,”
KidSafe Victoria figures show that every year in Australia over 5,000 children are rescued after being left unattended in a car.
Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time. For more information on summer car safety, please see KidSafe Victoria.
Image source: Victoria Police