A pregnant Auckland woman has recounted the horror she felt after finding a toddler trapped in a hot car outside an outlet store.
The 26-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous, was shopping at Nood Outlet store in Auckland's Henderson on Thursday, and walking back to her car, she said she "heard this little cry".
"I looked next to me and in a parked SUV was a small toddler, with the windows down maybe an inch and a half each," she told Newshub.
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"I tried each of the doors to see if they would open but they didn't. She wouldn't have been able to open the doors as she was buckled in."
The woman, who is nine months pregnant, said she told the little girl she would be right back, and then ran into the outlet store to alert the staff for help.
When she returned to the vehicle, she said she found the toddler visibly upset and crying for her mum.
Luckily by that point, a staff member had gone into the shop next door and asked shoppers if they had left a child alone in the carpark.
The pregnant woman said she was about to call the police to ask how she could safely break the vehicle's window to access the child and not harm her in the process.
But just after the police answered her call, she said a woman came running out of the outlet store towards the car looking "all flustered".
"I was so frustrated and upset at this stage, I started to loudly explain to her that she can never leave a child in a car no matter how quickly you might be running into the store," the pregnant woman told Newshub.
"How does she not understand how hot it is, and has she not seen any of the stories of the last few days of how dangerous and serious it is to leave children in vehicles?"
She said the woman had nothing to say.
Thursday had been singled out by forecasters as the hottest day this week, and the issue of children and pets being left in hot cars has been frequently raised in the media.
In fact, the incident involving the toddler trapped in the hot car wasn't the only one on Thursday.
A Papamoa TAB was alerted to a baby left in a hot car on Thursday in a nearby carpark, and a member of the public had to step in to force the doors open, Stuff reported.
In another incident earlier this week, Napier woman Chrystal Alatasi told The Project on Monday she saved two babies from a sweltering car that day after finding them "crying and distraught".
She said the mother came out of the supermarket "without a care in the world".
An incident earlier this month also highlighted the importance of not leaving pets in hot cars - particularly in Australia, where temperatures have reached record levels.
Last year a baby was left in a hot car in Hamilton as its caregiver played pokies nearby for over an hour.
And in 2017, a mother and grandmother were sentenced to three years in prison after a baby died trapped in a hot car while they smoked synthetic cannabis.