The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, in conjunction with Kidsafe Victoria, will today launch its Kids in Cars community awareness campaign ahead of the influx of an estimated 140,000 visitors to the popular summer destination, for the Christmas holidays.
Between 1st September 2017 and 31st August 2018, Ambulance Victoria responded to 1587 callouts for people locked in cars across Victoria, with the vast majority being cases involving toddlers and babies.
The Mayor of Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Cr. David Gill, said that the introduction of the campaign is timely with the start of the summer holiday period.
“The temperature inside a parked car can be 20 to 30 degrees hotter than outside. On a typical summer day, the temperature inside a car could be well over 60 degrees - leaving the windows down has little effect on the temperature rise.”
Cr. Gill said the first stage of the campaign will see Kidsafe Victoria’s ‘Do Not Leave Children in Cars’ signs placed on the front doors of all Preschools and Early Childhood Centres, Council Offices, Libraries and Maternal Health Care Nurse facilities in the municipality.
“The campaign will mean thousands of parents and carers will be constantly reminded about the dangers of leaving children unattended in vehicles and will also stimulate important discussion among the public about this life-threatening issue.
“The signage will also be extended to the entry of other car parks across the municipality.”
Jason Chambers, General Manager of Kidsafe Victoria, highlighted the dangers of leaving children in cars and commended the actions of Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in raising awareness of the issue.
“Leaving a child unattended in a car, even for a short period of time, is dangerous. A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adults, placing them at greater risk of dehydration and life threatening heatstroke.”
“The direct action by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is a major step in supporting the community and the efforts of Kidsafe Victoria, Government, emergency services and health authorities, in raising awareness of this important issue,” said Mr Chambers.
“The message from Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and Kidsafe Victoria is clear - if you are travelling with a child in a car and you need to leave, make sure you take the child with you. While the campaign specifically focuses on children, Cr. Gill noted there are other members of the community who are also vulnerable in the heat.
“The same messages apply for the elderly and our pets – never leave them unattended in a car on a hot day.”
How to Join the KIDSAFE Victoria Do Not Leave Children in Cars Campaign