National News

Vic woman charged after baby left in car

A baby is fighting for life in hospital after being left in a hot car in the middle of the afternoon, with Victoria Police charging a woman.

The incident has left Victoria's health minister "gutted" and eager to find out if authorities can do more to urge parents not to leave children alone in cars on hot days.

Emergency services were called to a car parked near the Brook Hotel at Point Cook just after 3pm on Wednesday, finding a 14-month-old boy in critical condition.

The child was taken to hospital and remains in a critical but stable condition.

A 32-year-old Gladstone Park woman was charged with negligently causing serious injury and reckless conduct endanger life, and was bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on January 23.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said she understands the woman is the child's mother.

"I felt absolutely gutted by what happened," she told reporters on Thursday.

"It's a tragic set of circumstances and it is a very clear reminder about the risks of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle, particularly on a hot day.

"My thoughts are with this little baby."

There were almost 1500 cases of emergency services being called out to unattended children in cars in the first 11 months of 2019.

The Victorian government runs an annual campaign urging parents not to leave their children alone in hot cars, using maternal child health services and early childhood centres in particular to spread the word.

But Ms Mikakos said she's open to looking at what else could be done and whether more work should be done alongside specific locations.

"I will be taking advice from experts about whether there is something we need to do particularly around gaming venues," she said.

"But we want to constantly get the message out, whether it's people going into a gaming venue, or a shopping centre, or wherever they might be going, that it's never ever safe to leave their child unattended in car."

The temperature in a car can double within minutes and children's body temperatures rise three to five times faster than those of adults, putting them at a higher risk of heat stroke, dehydration and organ damage.

© AAP 2020