A baby boy is fighting for life in hospital after being left in a locked car at a Point Cook hotel, as police investigate whether his mum was playing pokies inside.
The Herald Sun understands police are probing if the one-year-old had been alone in the car for up to five hours — with outside temperatures at 33C — while his mum was in The Brook hotel.
On a scorching day, the interior of a car can reach 30C hotter than outside.
The boy was found in the vehicle in the hotel’s car park on Sneydes Rd about 3.15pm yesterday.
Paramedics took him to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a critical condition.
There were grave fears for him. The mother was expected to be questioned by police last night.
A crime scene was set up outside the hotel and at least seven officers attended the scene. The hotel, usually open until midnight, closed by 7pm.
If the boy does not survive, the investigation — currently being managed by local police — could be transferred to the homicide squad.
The incident comes less than a month after the state government launched the Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign. Between January and November last year, paramedics were called to more than 1490 people locked in cars.
That included babies, toddlers and children.
Kidsafe Victoria General Manager Jason Chambers said the temperature inside a car on a hot day could be 20C to 30C hotter than outside.
“The major temperature increase happens in the first five minutes,” he said. “It becomes dangerous really quickly.”
Alison Connell, 58, who lives across the road from the pub, said: “My mum called me and said there’s been a child left in a car and it’s in a pretty bad way. I was horrified. People should have more brains.”
Santosh Jugali, who lives in Point Cook, arrived at the hotel only to find its doors closed. “I thought something had happened when there were no cars here.”