Don’t leave kids in cars

January 11, 2018

Parents are being warned not to leave their children in cars this summer as new statistics reveal the top 10 postcodes for ambulance call-outs to children stuck in vehicles.

Concerning new data shows Ambulance Victoria responded to 1696 call-outs across Victoria in the year to August, with the vast majority being cases involving toddlers and babies left in cars.

A new government campaign, which features AFL legend Matthew Richardson, who became a dad to baby Zoey in September, aims to make people aware of the potential dangers and will see advertisements run on television, radio and social media.

The Victorian Government is working with Kidsafe and Ambulance Victoria to increase awareness and remind parents just how easy it is to underestimate the time it can take to run a quick errand.

On average, four kids a day are being put at risk of serious heat-related injury or death by being left unattended in parked cars.

A car’s temperature can more than double within minutes, meaning on a typical summer day the temperature inside a parked car can quickly become 20-30 degrees hotter than outside.

Children’s body temperatures rise three to five times faster than an adult’s, meaning they are at greater risk of life-threatening heatstroke, dehydration and organ damage when left in the car.

In Victoria, it is against the law to leave children unattended, with offenders facing fines of up to $3900 or jail for six months, or both.

The top 10 postcodes for call-outs were Werribee (43 call-outs), Narre Warren (42), Tarneit (41), Pakenham (38), Frankston South (34), Roxburgh Park (33), Cranbourne (31), Ballarat (28), Melton (26) and Preston (23).

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said there was no exceptions — children should never be left in the car.

‘‘Don’t let a moment of complacency or frustration put your loved ones at risk — always take them with you,’’ she said.

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