In Alsace, a child was forgotten in a car and died. The father was taken to hospital in shock.

A 16-month-old toddler died in a car in a company parking lot in France. The father had forgotten to drop the boy off at daycare.

Instead of going to the daycare, the man drove straight to his work in Sausheim, Alsace, near the German border, and forgot the boy in the car, the public prosecutor’s office in Mulhouse announced on Wednesday. He was only alerted towards the evening by his wife, who wanted to pick up her son from the daycare but did not find him there. The child spent the whole day unnoticed in the heated car in the sun. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

With outside temperatures of up to 22 degrees on Tuesday, it could have been up to 47 degrees inside the car, which was parked far from any shade, reported the local newspaper “Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace”. The emergency services that were called could only confirm the boy’s death. Psychologists looked after the parents. The father was taken to hospital in shock.

Researchers are talking about the forgotten baby syndrome, the newspaper reported. According to the study, 25 percent of all parents of a baby or toddler completely forget that their child is there during a car journey at some point – although this rarely results in serious consequences.

According to the American psychology professor David M. Diamond, who has studied the syndrome intensively, stress, lack of sleep or changes in routine could be the triggers for the child’s forgetfulness. A false memory is created in the brain because routine activities such as driving to work are carried out on autopilot.

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