Never leave your most precious valuables, your children, alone in the car.
Every year over 5000 children are rescued after being left alone in a car.
To avoid potentially tragic consequences, the
Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign reminds parents to take their kids with them whenever they get out of the car, just as they do their valuables.
The risk of heatstroke and dehydration is very real
- a child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adults
- even on a mild day, the temperature inside a parked car can be 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the temperature outside
- when it’s 30 degrees outside, a child could be suffering in up to 60-degree heat
- leaving the windows down has little effect on the inside temperature of the car
- large cars heat up as quickly as smaller cars.
For more information, see:
Cost to families
In Victoria, it is against the law to leave a child unattended in a car. Penalties include:
- fines, or
- up to six months’ jail.
However the cost to families can be far higher. Children can die in hot cars and the risk is highest in summer.
Over the past few years in Australia, there have been a small number of cases of children dying as a result of fatal distraction. Fatal distraction can happen to anyone and occurs when parents or carers unknowingly leave their child in a car, owing to extreme exhaustion, stress or a change in routine, it can lead to serious injury or, in extreme cases, the death of a child.
What can parents and carers do?
There are several routines to remind parents or carers to check the back seat, such as:
- leaving a bag, phone or wallet in the back of the car
- placing a child’s bag in the front seat
- having a stuffed toy in the front seat whenever they put the child in car
- creating a mental list of the things to check each time they leave the car - e.g. baby, keys, wallet, phone
- using a mirror for rear-facing car seats to remind them that their child is in the car.