Urgent warning for parents and pet owners as mercury soars

RACQ has issued an urgent warning about the risks of leaving children and pets in cars with a severe heatwave expected to hit parts of western Queensland on Friday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the mercury in a number towns, including Longreach, Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Winton, was expected to reach above 40 degrees.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said it was a timely reminder to never leave children or animals in a vehicle.

“Shockingly, on average, our RACQ Roadside Assistance patrols are called to rescue more than three children from locked cars in Queensland every day,” Ms Ross said.

“Most of these cases are accidental lock-ins and happen when a parent or carer gives the child keys to play with, and they press the lock button. In extreme weather it’s more important than ever to not given your keys to your child, but keep them on you at all times.

“Remember, there’s never a safe amount of time to leave a child or pet locked in a car. Even in the shade with the windows down, a car can reach dangerously high temperatures in minutes.”

Ms Ross reminded pet owners it was also unwise to leave an animal on the back of a ute parked in the sun.

“The tray can get very hot and cause severe burns to your dog’s paws. If you wouldn’t stand on it with bare feet, then it’s too hot for your furry friend.

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