It is one of the most tragic mistakes imaginable. But if experts are to be believed, it could happen to any of us.
A mother of three named Jayde Poole is currently on trial for the manslaughter of her almost-six-month-old daughter, Bella.
Back in December 2012, Poole frantically called the police to report a kidnapping after discovering that Bella was not in her cot.
But when police arrived and searched the Bendigo property, they found Bella buckled in her baby seat. In the back seat of the car.
Ms Poole had reportedly had no idea that she was there.
According to the then 28-year-old, she’d gone out to get takeaway for her son, 6, two and a half hours earlier – and forgotten that she brought baby Bella with her.
It was around 30 degrees in Bendigo and Bella died in the back of the car.
Poole later told police that she had no memory of leaving her little girl in the car. And during her trial, Poole has been described as a “very loving and caring mother,” who is “not forgetful at all”.
So how did this even happen?
A similar incident occurred in October last year, when a Perth dad drove to a childcare centre to pick up his 11-month-old son at the end of a long day.
But when he asked to collect his child, the father was told that his son had never been dropped off. The dad then found his son, still buckled in the back of the car. The 11-month-old could not be revived.
It was believed the child might have been in the car all day and that his father may have simply “forgotten” to drop him off at day care.
How does a parent forget their child? It might seem impossible, but the phenomenon is very, very real.