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Mum who left baby boy in hot car while she played bingo at a pub’ is allowed to see him

A mother accused of leaving her child to die in a hot car while she gambled at the pub will be allowed to see her critically ill child for the first time in a week.

Kaija Miller, 32, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday a week after police alleged she locked 14-month-old Easton in the car on a 33C day.

Miller was flanked by supporters, including her father, as the court heard she had been forbidden from going anywhere near her son, who remains in Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital in a critical but stable condition.

Kaija Miller makes a dash from Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday under hot pursuit by a media pack. She made no comment and refused to answer questions

Baby Easton (pictured, left) was found unresponsive and in a critical condition. Police allege his mother Kaija Millar (right) left him in the car

Baby Easton (pictured, left) was found unresponsive and in a critical condition. Police allege his mother Kaija Millar (right) left him in the car

Steve Millar has revealed his son Easton has just a 50 per cent chance of survival after he was allegedly left in the car outside a pub in Point Cook, Victoria

Steve Millar has revealed his son Easton has just a 50 per cent chance of survival after he was allegedly left in the car outside a pub in Point Cook, Victoria

In amending the conditions of her bail, Magistrate Sue Cameron agreed to allow Millar to visit her child as long as she was accompanied either by her own mother or a Department of Health and Human Service case worker.

The court heard Millar remains estranged from baby Easton’s father Steve, who continues his vigil at hospital and was absent from court.

Last week, Mr Millar said Easton had only a 50 percent chance of survival.

Today, the court heard it remained unclea if he would recover at all.  

Police had forbid Easton’s mum approaching within a 200 metre radius of the hospital or five metres from her son as part of her bail conditions.

Millar has been charged with negligently causing serious injury and reckless conduct endangering life.

In agreeing to allow the mother to reunite with her son, Ms Cameron said police had failed to provide any evidence that alleged Millar had intended to cause harm to Easton ‘or worse’.

‘I need an allegation the act was in someway deliberate,’ she said. ‘The charge alleges recklessness.’ 

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Higginbotham hit out at Millar, accusing her of having ‘a disregard for the welfare’ of her child. 

He further asserted she posed an ‘unidentified  risk’ to her son. 

Millar remains free in the community on bail at a now secret address after the court imposed a gag order on her location.

The young mum has been forced to remove herself from social media amid a tidal wave of abuse from across the nation and abroad.

Kaija Miller makes a dash from Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Thursday under hot pursuit by a media pack. She made no comment and refused to answer questions

Kaija Miller makes a dash from Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday under hot pursuit by a media pack. She made no comment and refused to answer questions

Kaija Millar, 32, (pictured, left) is accused of leaving 14-month-old Easton (right) in her car and abandoning him while she went to play bingo

Kaija Millar, 32, (pictured, left) is accused of leaving 14-month-old Easton (right) in her car and abandoning him while she went to play bingo

Millar appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Thursday to face charges that she left her baby in a hot vehicle. She was welcomed by a huge media pack

Millar appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to face charges that she left her baby in a hot vehicle. She was welcomed by a huge media pack  

What happens to children left in hot cars?

Children’s bodies heat up three-to-five times faster than adults do

The younger the child, the more vulnerable they are 

On a 29C day, temperatures inside a car can reach 44C in just ten minutes

This can cause ‘serious injury’ and brain damage

After 20 minutes, the temperature reaches a fatal 60.2C, which could kill

Winding down the windows or parking in the shade will do little as it doesn’t affect the car’s core temperature 

 

Millar’s face went viral upon being outed as Easton’s mum on Friday and has been shared across the globe.

She was confronted by a huge media pack outside the courthouse, with reporters chasing her along William Street in Melbourne’s CBD. 

Millar made no comment as she was whisked away from the chaotic scenes. 

She had shown little emotion during Thursday’s hearing.  

Police claim Easton was left to swelter in his mum’s Holden Barina as temperatures reached 33C outside.

He was found unresponsive about 3pm on Wednesday last week in the locked car, which was parked outside the Brook Hotel in Point Cook, west of Melbourne.

Speaking to the Herald Sun newspaper last week, Mr Millar said he was ‘heartbroken and devastated’.

‘It’s still touch and go at the moment — it’s 50-50 whether he’ll pull through,’ he said.

‘He has shown a few signs to me, when I’m talking to him you can see his mouth trying to move.’

He said his parents and both his brothers had been accompanying him to the hospital daily as he holds a bedside vigil for the youngster.

Kaija Millar (pictured) has been charged. Her baby, Easton, is fighting for his life in hospital

Kaija Millar (pictured) has been charged. Her baby, Easton, is fighting for his life in hospital

Kaija Millar (pictured)  appeared in court on January 23. Easton is being cared for by his father, who remains by his bedside at hospital

Kaija Millar (pictured)  appeared in court on January 23. Easton is being cared for by his father, who remains by his bedside at hospital

The 14-month-old was fighting for life after being was found unconscious in a car parked outside a pub (pictured)

The 14-month-old was fighting for life after being was found unconscious in a car parked outside a pub (pictured)

Mr Millar said he had cut himself off from the child’s mother as she prepared to face court over the shocking allegations.  

The revelations follow claims Millar had been struggling with a gambling addiction, which she had kept secret from those closest to her, including the child’s father. 

Experts said the temperature in a car on a 29C day or hotter can hit 44C within just 10 minutes, with the child likely to suffer heatstroke.

It is understood a bystander performed CPR on the child until paramedics arrived.

Witnesses said the mother was inconsolable as efforts were made to save her son.

The incident comes less than a month after the state government launched its Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign.

Last month, paramedics revealed they were called eight times to children being left locked in hot cars across Victoria as temperatures hit a scorching 40C.

Upon launching the campaign, Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos said more than 30 Victorians a week — mainly babies and toddlers — were having to be rescued from vehicles.

Last week, Ms Mikakos said almost 1,500 children were left in vehicles in Victoria in the first 11 months of last year. 

Study: A 2008 Ambulance Victoria experiment found temperatures inside a car on a 29 degree day, doubled from 20C to 44C in ten minutes - which could cause 'serious injury'

Study: A 2008 Ambulance Victoria experiment found temperatures inside a car on a 29 degree day, doubled from 20C to 44C in ten minutes – which could cause ‘serious injury’

 

 

 

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