Heat wave risk: thousands of babies locked in cars

More than 1300 children were rescued from locked cars in Queensland in the past year and this week’s soaring temperatures have prompted a safety warning by the State’s peak motoring body.

RACQ Roadside Assistance figures have revealed its patrols were called to rescue an average of between three and four children every day.

Club spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said, while the majority of lock-ins were accidental, it highlighted the importance of parents and caregivers taking safety seriously. 

“With parts of the State expected to see temperatures in the forties this week, we’re warning parents and caregivers about the dangers,” Ms Ritchie said.

“Being given the keys to play with is the most common reason young children become trapped in the family car.

“It may seem a quick and easy way to keep them occupied but it only takes pressing the lock button and you have a problem.

“The heat inside a locked car can climb to 40 degrees in as little as seven minutes. These temperatures can cause long lasting brain damage to children and even result in death.

“Never give your child the keys to play with, it’s just too dangerous.”