A BABY has been taken to hospital after being discovered locked in a car in a Southport shopping centre.
Emergency services were called to Australia Fair about 12pm to reports an 18-month old male child was in distress in the back of a car in the undercover car park.
Detectives, fire crews and paramedics responded, with firefighters forced to smash the car open to free the baby.
The mother was located a short time later. It is not known why she left the baby in the car, or how long the child was unattended.
The baby has been taken to hospital in a stable condition.
The child's 28-year-old mother has been served with a notice to appear in court and charged with leaving a child unattended.
A police spokesman said the baby was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital as he had been in the car 'for some time'.