Man’s fury after finding baby in car
A GOOD Samaritan came to the rescue of a newborn baby left alone inside a parked car at Sydney shopping centre during scorching temperatures on Friday.
When the baby's mother returned, he gave her a spray.
Nadim Accari was shopping at Westfield in Burwood, in Sydney's west, as temperatures neared 40C on Friday afternoon. As he walked to the carpark, he noticed something unusual.
"Today on the way back to my car, I noticed an empty parked car with the headlights on," he wrote on Facebook, alongside a video of the incident.
"Upon closer inspection, there was a newborn baby in the back seat."
He said he waited briefly for the child's parents to return before alerting security.
"There was nobody around. Being over 35C in the carpark, I had to alert security. They came running to the car, at this stage it had almost been 10 minutes."
He said the car was unlocked when security checked it, and the baby boy was taken to a medical centre nearby for a check-up.
When the child's mother returned, she told Mr Accari she "was only going to be 10 minutes".
"As you can imagine, I'm pretty damn well pissed off," Mr Accari wrote. "After a brief argument with the mother, security pulled me away before I lost my s***."
A spokesperson for NSW Police confirmed they are investigating.
Mr Accari has a message for other parents.
"Please, please take car of your babies," he wrote. "Never leave them alone like this. Hopefully this mother learnt her lesson."
During hot weather in January, a toddler was accidentally left in a hot car at Neutral Bay, in Sydney.
The small boy was alone for up to three hours before police smashed the car window and pulled him out. He was suffering from dehydration.
The boy's father arrived and was clearly distressed. He told reporters he had a "rough night" and did not realise he'd left the child in the car.
"We didn't sleep though the night, Richard Ligault said. "It was a rough night and I went to drop off my kid at school. He fell asleep in the car and I thought he was at school and I went straight to work. I was very confused."
There were reportedly 10 cases of Aussie children being trapped inside hot cars on the same day.
Peter Khoury, head of media for NRMA, said the association attended 581 incidents where children were locked in cars and 437 where pets were trapped - in NSW and the ACT alone, in three months between October 2017 and January 2018.
"The majority of those cases are actually not intentional," he said. "So, the mum or dad are putting the groceries in the boot of the car and they'll put the baby in first and give them something to play with - but the child ends up pushing the button and locking themselves in the car. When we attend, the parents are usually more distressed than the child.
"Having said that, there are a large group of people leaving children in cars intentionally and walking off and a more often than not, it's a passer-by that sees the child."
He said the danger of leaving a child in a car cannot be overstated - adding that temperatures can double inside a car within five minutes.
"Sometimes, it's a case of someone running in to get a coffee and even that is extremely dangerous.
"It just takes minutes. There's no airflow in the vehicle. Children and pets become dehydrated and distressed within minutes and it doesn't take long for organ failure to kick in.
"Unfortunately, we have seen cases around the world and in Australia where children have died and it's due to organ failure and dehydration.
"Cars are not meant to be used as babysitters. Your car could also get stolen, someone could break in - so you shouldn't leave your child in the car at any time, regardless of the weather."
- with Benedict Brook and Ben Graham