Car park
Cars are seen parked at the National Mall in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2016. Reuters/Carlos Barria

A Sydney mother allegedly left her four children of under 10 years of age inside a locked car in the sweltering heat on Wednesday. The woman, who left her kids behind and went for shopping, will be facing charges.

A passerby noticed the kids – of ages six, seven, eight and nine – locked inside a car in a Bankstown car park on Canterbury Road. The witness subsequently notified the police and paramedics, who arrived at the scene to rescue the children.

The police said the mother, 44, was not at the scene. However, she helped the police at the Bankstown police station. According to AAP (via, the woman faces charges of leaving a child or young person in a motor vehicle causing emotional distress. She will be appearing in the Bankstown Local Court on Feb. 22.

Sydney Morning Herald reports that Wednesday marked the fifth day when mercury levels reached north of 35 degrees. It is the first time since 1991-1992 that temperatures have recorded such high levels. The temperature inside a car on a normal summer day, even if the windows are rolled down, can be 50 to 60 degrees.

Meanwhile, sweltering conditions persisted in northwest New South Wales Wednesday – with temperatures reaching as high as 46 degrees. While Bourke experienced mercury levels north of 45 degrees, parts of Sydney were affected by sultry conditions as temperatures crossed 40 degrees. Temperatures are expected to further rise on Friday.

Excessive ozone levels in the atmosphere have worsened the situation. People suffering from respiratory disorders have been advised to take care over the next few days. The Rural Fire Service imposed a fire ban in several parts of the state including Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter and Central Ranges. According to a spokesman from the fire service, low levels of humidity and high winds have caused the vegetation to dry out.