Richo: 'It's never okay to leave kids in cars'

​​​AFL star and first-time dad Matthew 'Richo' Richardson would do anything to protect his baby daughter Zoey Isabella – like never leaving her inside a parked car.

That's why he's on board as ambassador for the Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign.

Together with Zoey Isabella, Matthew Richardson is spreading the message to fellow parents that it's never okay to leave children in a parked car.

Mr Richardson says it seems like a hassle to get your kids in and out of the car, but 'it's something you've just got to do.'

'If you need to duck into the shops for some milk or the newspaper, it can be tempting to leave them there, especially if they are sleeping — you'll only be a couple of minutes,' he says.

'But it is so easy it is to get distracted – two minutes can easily turn into 15 minutes. And your kid is still in that hot car.'

Speaking at the Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign launch, Mr Richardson says it's never okay to leave a baby or child in a car, under any circumstances, at any time.

'Even with the windows down, a car's temperature can more than double within minutes, and the body temperature of kids rises three to five times faster than an adult's.'
'Kids can't regulate their body temperatures as well as adults so they're at greater risk of suffering life-threatening heatstroke, dehydration and organ damage.'

The campaign

The Victorian Government is working with Kidsafe and Ambulance Victoria to increase families' awareness of the dangers of leaving children in parked cars through the Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign.

In the twelve months to 31 August 2017, Ambulance Victoria responded to 1,696 calls to people 'locked in vehicles'. That means an average of four kids a day are being put at risk of serious heat-related injury or death by being left unattended in parked cars.

In Victoria, it is against the law to leave children unattended in a car. Parents or carers could face fines of nearly $3,700 or up to six months' jail, or both.

See: Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign.