Heat warning on babies locked in cars

As the south-east prepares for rising summer temperatures, RACQ has revealed new data which shows its patrols rescue an average of three babies from locked cars in Queensland every day.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said roadside patrols attended more than 1,300 lockouts in the past 12 months, highlighting the need for parents and caregivers to take safety seriously.

“These callouts are given the highest priority to ensure the child is freed as quickly as possible,” Ms Ross said.

“Our tests show it takes as little as seven minutes for a car’s internal temperature to reach 40 degrees. These temperatures can cause long lasting brain damage to children and even result in death.

“It’s concerning how often these incidents are the result of young children being given the keys to play with and in a flash they lock themselves inside the car.
“We appeal to motorists to keep keys on them and give their child a toy to play with instead.”

Mrs Ross said if an accidental lock-in did occur parents should remain calm and act quickly.

To avoid accidental lock-ins, the RACQ recommends:

Always take children with you – even if you only intend to leave the car for a brief time 
Keep the keys with the driver – never leave them with the child, in the ignition, or place them on a car seat 
Never let children play with keys or access an unattended vehicle 
Check the vehicle is empty before remote locking – it is easy to make a mistake and accidentally lock children inside 
If a child is locked in a car, keep calm and call RACQ (13 1905) immediately, ring emergency services (000) if there are concerns about the child’s health.