Boy, eight, found un­re­spon­sive af­ter hid­ing in back of mother's hot van

The Guardian Australia - - News -

An eight-year-old boy rushed to hos­pi­tal in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion had hid­den him­self in the back of his mother’s van in Mel­bourne and spent sev­eral hours inside the ve­hi­cle while she was at work be­fore he was found.

The boy was found “un­re­spon­sive” by his mother about 2.45pm in New­port on Mon­day as the tem­per­a­ture soared to more than 30C.

“The boy’s mother dropped her chil­dren at pri­mary school in the morning, how­ever, didn’t re­alise one of the kids had climbed into the rear of the car and hid him­self,” Vic­to­ria po­lice spokes­woman Leonie John­son said on Tues­day.

“She has driven to work and parked her car with­out know­ing he was in there.”

Af­ter the mother made the shocking dis­cov­ery, emer­gency ser­vices took the child to the Royal Chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal, where his con­di­tion had im­proved from crit­i­cal to se­ri­ous by Tues­day afternoon.

Po­lice ini­tially called in the homi­cide squad, but have since con- firmed they are treat­ing the inci- dent as an ac­ci­dent.The prin­ci­pal of New­port Gar­dens pri­mary school, where the woman worked, re­leased a state­ment to par­ents and car­ers on Mon­day.

“As you may be aware, an in­ci­dent oc­curred to­day at school in­volv­ing a staff mem­ber and a mem­ber of their fam­ily,” prin­ci­pal Si­mon McGlade said in the state­ment. “The in­ci­dent didn’t in­volve any stu­dents from our school.”

Footage from the scene showed po­lice ex­am­in­ing a black peo­ple mover, parked in the street, which was later re­moved.

Vic­to­ria’s health min­is­ter, Jill Hen­nessy, of­fered a gen­eral warn­ing to par­ents on Tues­day.

“Get your chil­dren out of the car, do not leave them there, what­ever in­con­ve­nience that in­volves, it’s a price worth pay­ing,” she said. “It can be re­ally in­con­ve­nient to get them in and out of baby seats, par­ents are re­ally busy, but a child left in a car can eas­ily die.”

The school sent well wishes to the fam­ily in­volved.

“Sup­port will be made avail­able for any staff, stu­dents and fam­i­lies that need it,” McGlade said, ask­ing for pri­vacy for those in­volved.

An eight-year-old boy who hid in the back of his mother’s van was found un­re­spon­sive sev­eral hours later and taken to the Royal Chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal. Pho­to­graph: Luis Ascui/Getty Im­ages

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