Mum finds daughter dead in day-care van after chilling phone call to worker

A baby has died after she was left in a day-care van for five hours in the sun.

The young girl, believed to be five-months-old, was discovered by her mother outside Ewing's Love & Hope Preschool and Academy in Jacksonville, Florida, US, on Wednesday afternoon (local time), local news station First Coast News reported.

The mother had called the day-care centre to ask how her daughter was, to which an employee responded saying she hadn’t seen her all day, the news station said.

Rushing to the day-care centre concerned for the welfare of her daughter, the mother found her baby inside the vehicle.

The baby was found in a car seat in a day-care van outside the school in Jacksonville.Source: Google Maps

Paramedics rushed to the scene before the unconscious child was taken to hospital, however she could not be saved.

Police said the child was inside the van from around 8am to 1pm, with the vehicle “parked there in the sun”.

Authorities said the death appears to be “heat-related’.

While police are yet to determine the exact temperature inside the vehicle, the mercury hit 34C at midday on Wednesday.

It is understood the day-care picks up several of the children in the van each day.

None of the other 13 children at the school were harmed.

Kidsafe Victoria found interior car temperatures can be 20 to 30 degrees hotter than outdoor temperatures, and leaving a window slightly open “does little” to relieve the heat.

“The smaller the child, the greater the risk,” the organisation’s president Dr Mark Stokes said.

“A young child will quickly dehydrate, lapse into unconsciousness and may never fully recover. A child appearing to be sleeping, not moving or showing little distress might be more dangerously ill or closer to death than a distressed child screaming for attention.”

Police investigations are ongoing. There has so far been no arrests.

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