And police say no charges will be pressed….
Time and time again we hear stories of “forgotten baby syndrome”.
Horrific tales of babies dying under torturous conditions when their parents accidentally left them in their capsule secured in the car and went about their day, never knowing their baby was still in the vehicle until it was too late.
More than 200 children have died worldwide over the past 15 years from the phenomenon after being left behind in cars – and yesterday the number was nearly added to, all but for the actions of shoppers at the Ellenbrook shopping centre in Perth.
A baby boy, just 14-months old was spotted alone in the backseat of a car while temperatures soared towards 41 degrees.
The little boy strapped in his car seat was sweating and crying, the nervous shoppers peering in the window called police all the while conscious the day was set to be Perth’s third hottest December day ever.
WA Today reports that management made an announcement over the speakers asking the driver to return to their white Hyundai i30, but police were forced to act to rescue the baby immediately smashing a window to free him as temperatures in the car would have begun to reach 40 degrees.
A short time later witnesses reported a woman with a loaded shopping trolley came back to the vehicle. The woman, believed to be the boy’s grandmother, found her baby safe and well.
The little boy was assessed at the scene by St Johns Ambulance but was not taken to hospital.
A police spokesperson said that it turned the baby had been “forgotten about.”
Police spokeswoman Barbara Crane said the baby was “visibly distressed, crying, hot and sweating.”
“It was established the parent had genuinely forgotten the child was left in the vehicle at the time “she said.
Police said they will not be pressing charges.
An anonymous friend of the woman said the grandmother was devastated, saying this was the “first and last time this will ever happen.”
“I am absolutely appalled at how people on social media are so quick to judge a situation that they know absolutely nothing about,” he said.
“She already feels horrible for what she had [sic] done and now people are making it even worse.”
Watch Matt Moran demonstrates just how hot a car can get…
The near-tragedy brought back memories for many of the death of a baby boy outside a Perth child care centre in October 2013. The 11-month old died when his father forgot to drop him at child care.
In 2009 a Pulitzer Prize-winning article in The Washington Post examined cases of what it called “fatal distraction”, in which an “otherwise loving and attentive parent” can forget a child is in the car.
Gene Weitgarten outlined the case of 49-year-old father and businessman Miles Harrison who preoccupied by problems at work forgot to drop his toddler son at daycare. The boy remained strapped into a car seat for nearly nine hours, after Harrison parked the car in an office parking lot on a hot summer’s day and tragically his son died.
Memory expert David Diamond, from the University of South Tampa, said that the quality of prior parental care was irrelevant, that it was more likely that stress had affected parents’ brain function and memory. “The important factors that keep showing up involve a combination of stress, emotion, lack of sleep and change in routine,” he said.
In July 2014 Bendigo mother Jayde Poole was charged with manslaughter and conduct endangering life after the death of her six-month-old daughter, when she allegedly forgot to take the child from the back seat.
The 28-year-old said she had driven to the shop with her six-year-old son and baby daughter to buy takeaway food. Returning home, she and her son had gone inside, but she said she forgot to remove her baby daughter until 2 1/2 hours later, but it was too late.
Last year after a very public trial Jayde Poole was found not guilty.
Her defence lawyer said in court: ‘‘What you’ve got is a tragedy of a woman who forgot.
‘‘This is an accident for which she will exist in a living hell for the rest of her days.’’
As Perth enters another hot day KidSafe have reminded parents to be extra vigilant: “On a typical Australian summer day, the temperature inside a parked car can be as much as 20° to 30° higher than the outside temperature. Leaving children unattended in the car, even for a short time, can be fatal.”
“Never leave children unattended in the car.”
(Feature image sourced Nine News Twitter)