Girl, 3, fighting for life after being left on hot bus outside daycare

·3-min read

A young Queensland girl is in a critical condition after being left on a daycare bus for several hours as outside temperatures soared to 28 degrees.

Nevaeh Austin, 3, was found unconscious in the vehicle outside Le Smileys Early Learning Centre in Gracemere, near Rockhampton, around 3pm on Wednesday.

She had been picked up from home on the bus around 9am, her dad Shane Austin told local publications.

It’s believed she had been on the bus, which was parked in front of the centre, since 9.30am, 9 News reported.

Nevaeh Austin pictured with her family before being found unconscious at the daycare.
Toddler Nevaeh Austin was found unconscious in the vehicle outside a daycare in Gracemere, near Rockhampton, around 3pm on Wednesday. Source: 9 News

Nevaeh was rushed to Rockhampton Hospital in a critical condition before being transported to Brisbane overnight, Queensland Police said.

Mr Austin told the Courier Mail his daughter is suffering from kidney failure and will under a deep brain scan.

“She’s the most loudest little girl they tell me…she’s the heart of the daycare,” he said.

Queensland Ambulance Service Central Region operations manager Jason Thompson said it is unknown exactly how long the three-year-old was on the bus as temperatures reached 28 in Rockhampton.

“On the crew’s arrival Queensland Police were already on scene and escorted the crew into the childcare centre where the young child was on the floor in the admin area,” he told the Courier Mail from the scene on Wednesday afternoon.

“At this point in time I am not aware of the time [the child was in the bus], I believe it is unknown and that’s under investigation.”

Mr Thompson described the scene as “traumatic” for everyone involved.

It is understood Le Smileys Early Learning Centre remained closed on Thursday.

Police in front of a bus at the scene.
An investigation into the incident is underway. Source: 9 News

Mum of boy found dead on childcare bus in 'disbelief'

Two years ago, a three-year-old boy from Cairns lost his life after being left on a childcare minibus for six hours.

Malik Namok-Malamoo’s body was found inside the Goodstart Early Learning Centre bus in Edmonton, leading to a six-year jail sentence for the driver involved.

The boy’s distraught mum told the Today show on Thursday morning she is in “disbelief” and angry about the most recent incident.

“To hear what happened yesterday, just total disbelief,” Muriel Namok said.

Ms Namok told Sunrise parents should be able to trust childcare centres with their kids.

“It is important because, these people, we are trusting them with our children. They are taking our children,” she said.

Following Malik's death in 2020, the law was changed to ensure childcare staff were putting policies in place to protect children, including making sure they were accounted for as they got on and off the bus.

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