A SCHOOLBOY is fighting for his life in hospital after he was found unconscious in a hot car in Australia in a near-fatal game of hide and seek.
The mother had dropped the boy and his siblings off at St Margaret Mary's Catholic Primary School in Melbourne yesterday morning, police said.
But incredibly, the eight-year-old managed to sneak back inside the family's black Kia Carnival van and hide from his mum, Herald Sun reported.
Without knowing he was there, his mum then drove to work and found her son inside the backseat at 2.45pm, where temperatures in Melbourne soured above 32C.
However, the temperature inside a vehicle can heat up to more than double the outside air temperature within minutes.
The boy was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.
Police said: “She has driven to work and parked her car without knowing he was in there.
“The boy’s mother located him in the vehicle and he was conveyed to hospital where he remains in a stable condition. Police are treating the incident as an accident.”
It has been confirmed the boy was the son of a staff member at the nearby Newport Gardens Primary School.
The boy’s school is less than four kilometres from where he was found on Maddox Rd, Newport.
An Education Department spokesman said they are providing support to the boy’s family, students and teachers.
Police, paramedics and fire brigade crews had all rushed to the scene, which is close to a primary school and childcare centre.
Police said they did not need to break into the car to reach the boy.
Clothing believed to belong to the 8-year-old boy who was rushed to hospital after being found in a car. The young boy remains in a critical condition in Newport this afternoon. More @theheraldsun pic.twitter.com/lpLFpW62ac
— Ryan Tennison (@ryan_tennison) November 13, 2017
Nearby residents told the Herald Sun they did not recognise the Kia or know whether the boy’s family lived on the street.
“It’s just a very sad situation,’’ one said.
“I can’t imagine what the parents would be going through. It’s sad whichever way it happened – especially when kids are involved.”
Local detectives were called in to investigate, assisted by the homicide squad, who were notified in accordance with police protocol.
Police are treating the incident as an accident.
Ambulance Victoria figures show an average of four children a day are left to swelter in hot cars.
Last year, paramedics fielded a staggering 1562 calls to rescue or treat children left in cars.
A version of this story originally appeared on News.com.au.