Have you seen the video with former AFL champion Matthew Richardson about not leaving our valuables in the car? If not, you should check it out. This summer has seen some of the hottest days in Australia for the past two years. Leaving children unattended in cars is never safe, however in these sweltering temperatures, the Kidsafe message to never leave kids in cars is particularly important.
Even on mild days the temperature inside parked cars can reach 20-30 degrees hotter than outside in a matter of minutes. That means that on a typical summer day, the temperature inside a parked can easily reach over 60 degrees.
Ambulance Victoria figures show that 225 children were left unattended in cars during December 2017, which is almost a 40 per cent increase on the same period the previous year.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of children left unattended in car incidents are unintentional – common scenarios include children locking themselves inside the car after being given the keys to play with (e.g. when a parent or carer is packing or unpacking the car) and newer cars self-locking with the keys inside. There have also been incidents in Australia and around the world where parents or carers have unknowingly left a child in a car.
It’s important to keep your keys on you at all times to reduce the risk of them becoming locked inside the car; you can also get into the habit of setting a ‘look before you leave’ routine or putting items such as a handbag/ briefcase on the back seat as a reminder, to help make sure nobody is forgotten when you get out of the car.
Together with these strategies, Kidsafe Victoria is working with the Victorian Government and Ambulance Victoria as part of the recently launched Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign. The campaign raises awareness of the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars, reminding parents that their most precious valuables - their children - should never be left alone in the car.
The campaign involves a number of resources, including the clever video featuring Richo demonstrates how a trip into the shops often takes longer than we think.
To view the campaign video and other related resources, please click here.