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Just don’t do it!:

Do not leave your children or pets in locked vehicles during summer.
By Motherpedia
Date: November 29 2012
Editor Rating:

With summer around the corner, motoring clubs around Australia remind parents not to put their child’s life at risk by leaving them inside locked cars.

In the first 11 months of this year, the Victorian automobile club (RACB) has had to rescue children and animals 1,134 times. The majority of those locked inside vehicles were young children and babies with a number of animals, particularly dogs.

“It’s extremely disappointing that motorists are not taking notice of this message,” said RACV Manager of Road User Behaviour, Melinda Congiu.

She said in October and November, the rescues required were greater than the same time last year.

“Locking people in cars, particularly vulnerable small children, is extremely dangerous and  clearly unacceptable,” said Ms Congiu.

“Many parents give their keys to their child to play with but this is a dangerous practice as children can accidentally lock the car.

“Some parents think it’s okay to leave children in a car for a short time as they run an errand but by doing so they are potentially creating a life-threatening situation.

“In extreme temperatures the interior of a stationary vehicle, even when parked in the shade, can become a death trap with temperatures skyrocketing to a lethal 60 degrees within minutes egardless of whether windows are left open.

“It can only take a few minutes for a child locked in a car with that temperature to become seriously ill or die due to heatstroke or dehydration.”

Tests show that in just one minute a vehicle’s cabin temperature can soar from an air-conditioned 19 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees. It takes just another seven minutes to reach 40 degrees, the temperature level that medical experts warn can be fatal.

“There is never a safe time to leave children or beloved family pets in the car. Heat in cars can kill children three times more quickly than it would adults,” said Ms Congiu.

She said that while the RACV and other motoring clubs prioritise call-outs to vehicle lock-ins, it can be too late when temperature are soaring.

Ms Congiu advises parents either to take their children and pet with them, or make alternative arrangements.

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