A toddler had to be rescued from a hot car in Essex after being left alone in scorching temperatures over the weekend.
The boy who is thought to be around 18 months old, was freed by the emergency services after a passer-by heard him crying from inside the locked vehicle and dialled 999.
Essex fire crews rescued the boy by smashing a window and pulling him from the vehicle, which had been left in a car park in Saffron Walden, Essex, on Saturday 22nd June.
A spokesperson for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service could not say for sure how long the child had been in the car as the temperature outside reached over 25 C.
In a post shared on their Twitter account, Essex Fire & Rescue Service said:
“Yesterday afternoon our crews rescued a small child who had been left unattended in a car in Saffron Walden
“It is incredibly dangerous to leave a child, pet or anyone vulnerable in a vehicle…Particularly in this heat.
“Please don’t run the risk.”
Crowds gathered around the vehicle to watch the rescue after an announcement was made at a nearby family fun day on Saffron Walden Common, urging the boy’s parents to return to their car.
Witness Cheryl Thomas, 42, told Essex Live:
“It was unbelievable. We were all enjoying a day out, and suddenly they announced this crying little boy had been left inside a hot car.
“We could see the car park from where we were, and everyone looked over to see paramedics outside the car, frantically trying to get in.
“Everyone was looking around for a parent rushing over, but no-one came.
“We couldn’t believe it when ten minutes later there was still no sign of anyone.
“It was such a hot day; we actually got sunburn while we were out there so that poor little boy must have been in such distress.
“It brings me to tears thinking about what he must have been going through.”
The toddler was crying and was visibly distressed when he was pulled from the vehicle, which is when a woman – believed to be the boy’s mother – returned with another young boy.
In a post shared on Facebook, Jodie Saxby said:
“After half an hour I thought something must be wrong with that parent, but no she came strolling from town way!
“Having a niece of that age, it made me feel so sad for that baby!”
Jackie Waughman added:
§”It was a lovely day on the common then they announced over the mic this sad news.
“What was she thinking? You don’t leave a dog in the car, let alone a child.
“They had to smash her window, and she was gone for ages.
“When she did come back, she seemed more worried about her car.
“I pray she never does this again as I have a feeling it’s not the first time she’s done it.”
A spokesperson for Essex Police told Emergency Services News:
“We were called by colleagues at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service to reports of a toddler locked in a car in Common Hill, Saffron Walden, just after 4.20pm on Saturday, 22 June.
“Officers attended as firefighters broke into the car and were joined shortly after by the child’s relatives”.
“A referral has been made to social care”.