A criminal investigation has been opened after a seven-month old baby froze to death after being put to sleep in a buggy on an outside balcony in eastern Russia on Sunday morning.
Officials said the baby boy was exposed to temperatures of -20C for five hours in the far-eastern Khabarovsk region, after his parents put him outside to ‘sleep in the fresh air’.
Local media reported, the 40-year-old mother from Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, put her son out on the balcony, expecting to pick him up within a few minutes.
She reportedly forgot about her son and only remembered where he was five hours later.
However, when she brought him inside, the baby was no longer showing any ‘signs of life’ and was unable to be revived.
Russian media reported the boy’s cause of death was hypothermia, which happens when a body’s core temperature is lowered as a result of exposure to cold.
Local authorities have inspected the scene and will be looking into what exactly happened in the lead up to the baby’s death.
The BBC reported, the region’s health ministry later advised, via Instagram, that people should not to leave young children outside unattended.
‘Always know where and with whom [your child] is,’ the ministry said. ‘Do not pass by if another child is in danger – in winter a child who is lost or injured on the street can very quickly become a victim of low temperatures,’ it added.
It also said that children in the Khabarovsk region were more frequently becoming victims of parental ‘ignorance’ and negligence of ‘basic safety measures’.
The Ministry said there appeared to be a noteable increase over the New Year holidays in young children being injured, commonly from falls, fireworks and burns.
Doctors advised parents to drink less alcohol and keep a close eye on their children.