If you’re going to leave your car, take your kids with you.
Children can die in hot cars. According to Kidsafe (the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia), on a typical summer’s day the temperature inside a parked car can rise to as much as 30 to 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. That means that on a 30 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach to as much as 70 degrees. This can happen in as little as 15 minutes.
Dark coloured vehicles can reach a higher temperature than lighter coloured vehicles, and larger cars can get just as hot as smaller ones.
Leaving the window down slightly only makes a small difference. As the temperature rises, so does the humidity, while airflow decreases.
A child left in a hot car will begin to develop hyperthermia (heat stress) and will start to dehydrate. The younger they are, the faster this will happen. Hyperthermia, dehydration and asphyxia (suffocation) can all kill.
Leaving a child in a parked car is also against the law, and can result in a police or Department of Community Services (DoCS) investigation. The maximum penalty is a fine of $22,000.
Did You Know . . .?
If the child is at serious risk, break a window away from the child. Remember that flying glass can be dangerous.