Heatwave risk to children and pets in hot cars: RACQ

Queenslanders have been warned by the State’s peak motoring body about the risk of leaving children and pets in cars, with the mercury predicted to hit 40 degrees in some areas this week.

As the heatwave moved across much of Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology said temperatures in many Queensland towns could soar above 30 degrees, with Longreach predicted to swelter through 40 degree temperatures for most of the week.

RELATED: Extreme heat fries car engines and batteries

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said it was a timely reminder for motorists to be aware of the dangers of leaving children and pets in hot 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 high temperatures in minutes, which can prove dangerous.”

Ms Hunter said there were simple steps parents could take to avoid accidentally locking their child in the car.

“The most important thing is to 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 mistakenly locked in cars,” she said.

Ms Hunter said it was also dangerous to leave an animal in the back of a ute.

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

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