Not a minute, not a second for kids left in cars

media release

It is not a normal Queensland summer without a few heatwaves and recently our state has sweltered through the mid-40 temperatures with some regions breaking records. Not only is it hot outside, but it is scorching inside parked vehicles and not for a minute or a second should kids be left in cars.

Cheryl Vardon, Principal Commissioner of the Queensland Family and Child Commission wants drivers to avoid leaving babies, young children or pets in unattended vehicles at all times as the risk is too great.

“When a child is left or accidently locked in a hot car the situation can turn tragic in a matter of minutes with tests showing that on a typical Queensland summer day the indoors of a car can reach temperatures in excess of 75 degrees,” Ms Vardon said.

“As a driver, it is your responsibility to always check the back seat, make sure that all children and pets are out of the car before locking and don’t let children play in the car especially with keys where they can lock themselves in.

“It is understandable that with the stress from the year, and the busyness of holidays, we can be distracted but I urge drivers to be extra vigilant at all times.”

From reminding children that cars are not a space to play games like hide-and-seek, to storing your car keys in areas that are out of reach to children, RACQ has curated some helpful tips to avoid these problems.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said the Club’s Roadside Assistance Patrols rescued on average three kids from locked cars every day.

“Please don’t take any risks by letting your kids play with the keys, and never leave a child in the car while you duck into a shop quickly,” Ms Ross said.

“It can take just seconds for kids to lock you out and themselves in, starting the clock on what could be a very dangerous situation.

“Already this year, we’ve rescued nearly 900 kids from locked cars across Queensland. It can happen to any family so please make sure your kids understand cars and keys are not play areas.”

If you accidentally lock your child in the car or spot a child locked in a car:

  • Call RACQ on 13 11 11, who will send the nearest Patrols to unlock the vehicle
  • Call 000 if you’re concerned about the wellbeing of the child
  • Remain calm and keep a close eye on the child before help arrives.

- ENDS

 

Media contact – QFCC Kirby Orr Kirby.orr@qfcc.qld.gov.au

0434683265

 

 

Media contact – RACQ Lucinda Ross Lucinda.Ross@racq.com.au

0447 196 258

 

Date range: 1/1/20 - 2/12/20

 

Region

# Children locked in vehicles

Bundaberg-Burnett

21

Central Queensland

36

Darling Downs South West

35

Far North Queensland

24

Fraser Coast and Gympie

30

Mackay Isaac Whitsunday

37

North Queensland

39

South East Queensland

679

Total

901