Heatwave warning for children and pets in hot cars

RACQ has issued an urgent warning about the risk of leaving children and pets in cars, with the mercury predicted to surpass the 40 degree mark in parts of Queensland on Wednesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said temperatures in many towns and cities, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, could soar into the high 30s, and the mercury could reach above 40 degrees in areas like Longreach, Mount Isa, Roma, Dalby and Emerald.

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RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said it was a timely reminder to never leave children and pets in cars.

“There’s never a safe amount of time to leave a child or pet locked in a car,” Ms Hunter said.

“Even with the windows down, a car can reach dangerously high temperatures in minutes.”

Ms Hunter said it was common for parents and caregivers to have mistakenly locked their children in the family car.

“Make sure you don’t give your car keys to the child to play with or hold – this is the most common way babies are accidentally locked in,” she said.

Ms Hunter reminded pet owners it was also dangerous to leave an animal on the back of a ute.

“Some owners think tying their dog on the back of a ute is perfectly safe, but the reality is the tray can get very hot and burn a dog’s paws,” she said.

“If you see a child or pet trapped in car call RACQ on 13 11 11 or emergency services.”