Thousands of children had been left unattended in cars each year. Figures from Ambulance Victoria reveal that two thirds of call outs for children locked in cars were to car parks, streets or public places.
The summer months (December to March) are the busiest period for these types of calls. Statistics reveal that there is an average of four call outs to a child left unattended in a car per day. Over 40 per cent of incidents occurred between 11am to 3pm.
“The thought of running a quick errand and leaving the children in the car for a minute can be tempting for a parent or carer. Leaving children unattended in a car on any day is dangerous, let alone a hot summer’s day. It could result in serious injury or death,” Kidsafe Victoria said.
On a typical Australian summer day, the temperature inside a parked car can be 20ºC to 30ºC hotter than the outside. The temperature inside a car can reach dangerous levels quickly. Around 75 per cent of the temperate rise occurs within the first five minutes of closing and leaving the car.
Even when you leave the car window down a bit, tests conducted by RACQ revealed the temperature is only five degrees cooler than when the windows are closed.
To ensure you have a safe summer with the kids, here are some hot car safety tips from Kidsafe:
- If you have to leave the car, even to run a quick errand – take the children with you.
- Never use the car as a substitute ‘babysitter’.
- Never leave children in a car without adult supervision for any length of time, not even a minute!
- Lock cars and secure keys when at home to prevent children playing inside the car.
- Make ‘look before you leave’ a routine whenever you get out of the car.
- When a child is missing, in addition to checking backyard pools and any other bodies of water, be sure to check inside the car and the boot of any nearby vehicles.
- Never leave valuables in the car, including your kids!