Photos of a young girl left in an unsecured car while her mother went shopping has sparked outraged after being shared online.
The child was seen in the back passenger side seat of a white Volkswagen in the parking lot of Cairns’ Showgrounds Shopping Centre, with her window down.
A passer-by was alarmed to see the child alone outside the centre’s busy Jaycar store, and kept watch on the her for about 10 minutes until her guardian returned.
The witness said she reported the incident to police and confronted the mother when she returned, however still felt the parent should be held accountable.
“If we hadn’t stopped who knows what would have happened to the poor girl, she may have been on tonight’s news,” she said.
“I was in the right place at the right time, there’s a lot of sick people out there.”
The woman said she asked the mother why she left her daughter along for such a long time, but was told to “f**k off”.
“We were standing there for at least 10 minutes, maybe less,” the woman said.
“But the fact she left her child in the car with the window down is not good at all. Poor baby.”
Susan Teerds, CEO of Kidsafe Queensland, told Yahoo News Australia children should not be left alone in a vehicle at any cost.
“It is not something you should do, not once and not for one second. There are of course also legal implications for leaving a child in the car,” Ms Teerds said.
“It doesn’t take long for the heat inside a car to get 15 degrees in excess of the heat of the day, posing extra risk to children because they can’t regulate their body temperature.”
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