Toddler died in New Zealand after mother left in him in car on hot day

The mother is thought to have forgotten to take her son to daycare

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A 16-month-old toddler died after his mother allegedly left him in a parked car on a hot summer day, because she thought she had dropped him off at daycare.

His mother, a senior staff member at Wanganui Hospital, is believed to have left the 16-month-old boy in the facility’s car park on Friday by mistake, after she forgot to drop him off at his daycare centre.

A post-mortem examination took place at Wellington Hospital on Saturday, and further tests are under way,  Detective Inspector David Kirby told the New Zealand Herald.

“Officers are also speaking with the baby's family and hospital staff. Police are not looking for anybody else as a result of the death.

"Any death of a child is always tragic. However, it is too early in the investigation to comment on what happened and what the outcome of the investigation will be," he said.

The chief executive of Wanganui Hospital has said she will be "giving everything she can" to support the staff member, according to Whanganui District Health Board chairwoman Dot McKinnon.

McKinnon called the incident "absolutely tragic" and said everyone at the hospital was devastated, and the chief executive Julie Patterson is being updated.

She told the New Zealand Herald: “We're all feeling it,” adding later: “As a mother and a grandmother, it just breaks your heart.”

The family must be allowed to grieve, she said, adding: “Because there's a police and coroner's investigation, we really just keep out until there are facts that we can understand.”