An eight-year-old boy is fighting for life after hiding himself in a car without his mother knowing during sweltering temperatures in Melbourne on Monday afternoon.
Emergency services rushed to Maddox Road in the inner Melbourne suburb of Newport after the boy's mother found him inside his parents' black Kia Carnival minivan at 2.45pm.
Police believe the boy's mother dropped her children at primary school in the morning and failed to realise that the eight-year-old had climbed back into the rear of the car and hid himself.
"An 8-year-old boy remains in hospital after being found unresponsive in a parked car on Maddox Road in Newport about 2:45pm yesterday afternoon," Victoria Police said.
"The boy's mother dropped her children at primary school in the morning however didn't realise one of the kids had climbed into the rear of the car and hid himself. 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 critical condition. Police are treating the incident as an accident."
Police told the Herald Sun they did not need to break into the car to get access to the child.
Homicide Squad detectives were brought in "as per protocol" and were "assisting only at this time", police said in a statement.
The boy was unresponsive by the time emergency crews reached him and remains in a critical condition at the Royal Children's Hospital.
It is believed he is the son of a staff member at the nearby Newport Gardens Primary School, according to The Age.
Children being picked up from school and day care by their parents were shepherded away from the area by emergency responders.
The black Kia minivan was loaded onto a tow truck and removed from the scene at around 6:20pm on Monday evening.
Temperatures had reached 32 degrees by 3pm on Monday in Melbourne.
Even on milder days, temperatures inside a car can exceed 50 degrees in as little as 20 minutes, putting anyone inside at great risk for heat stroke, which can lead to a high fever, dehydration, seizures, stroke and death.
Children are particularly at risk as they cannot regulate their body temperature as well as adults.