The father of a toddler rescued from a hot, locked car in an affluent Sydney suburb said he forgot about his son because the boy’s mother usually does the day care run.
Richard Ligault said it had been a ‘rough night’ he simply forgot about his three-year-old son, thinking he had already been dropped off.
‘I went to drop off my kid at the school, he fell asleep in the car … I went straight to work,’ Mr Ligault told media.
Neighbour Miller Lu told 9 News he was outside when he spotted the Kia Carnival parked on Powell Street, Neutral Bay, and noticed ‘the little arm had little movement’.
Officers broke the window of the car to rescue the toddler who was found dehydrated and visibly distressed inside the hot car at about 11.15am Thursday.
Police believe the three-year-old was inside the car alone for about three hours.
Mr Ligault returned to the apartment complex early on Thursday afternoon.
‘It’s a disaster, I hope that it doesn’t happen to any other parent. It’s your worst nightmare,’ he told reporters.
Temperatures in the area rose to 25c at 11am, but in-car temperatures can be up to 30 degrees hotter than outside on a typical summer day.
Police seized the man’s car and left a note on the door to the family’s home saying the car had been impounded as ‘you left your child in the car’.
The father asked journalists if they could give him a lift to North Shore Hospital, where his son was being treated for dehydration.
The incident prompted police and paramedics to again warn parents of the potentially deadly consequences of leaving children in cars, especially in summer.
In a statement, NSW Police said the boy has been released from hospital.
‘Police have spoken to the parents of the child, and inquiries continue.’
Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a car can reach upwards of 40C, NSW Police said in a statement.
‘I recorded the temperature inside a car for some internal research last summer and it reached 78 degrees in just minutes,’ NSW Ambulance Chief Inspector Brian Parsell previously said.
‘The situation can quickly cause damage to body cells leading to unconsciousness, shock, organ failure and death. Even in milder temperatures, children and babies can get sick very quickly.’
The RACV also says tests show that on a 30C day, the temperature inside a car can rise to 70C in a matter of minutes.
A maximum of 28C was forecast for Sydney on Thursday.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Ligault for comment.