Too many kids still being left in hot cars

PARAMEDICS say parents are still defying commonsense after crews had to rescue several children from locked cars in Warrnambool. 

During summer, ambulance officers freed six children from cars, including three in Warrnambool, and one each in Portland, Hamilton and Colac. 

Figures show between Sep-tember and January Ambulance Victoria was called to 620 cases of people locked in cars, with 24 people needing to be taken to hospital. 

Warrnambool Ambulance acting group officer Phil Benbow said the public needed to contact emergency services if they came across children locked inside on hot days. 

“It’s good that they do call us because there can be horrific consequences for the child,” Mr Benbow said. 

He said it was common knowledge the temperature soared inside cars on hot days. 

“I think there’s a degree of complacency with parents who go into the service station in the belief they’ll only be a few minutes. 

“The car is already hot to start with.”

Ambulance Victoria group manager Brett Drummond said it only took moments for car interiors to heat up. 

“It doesn’t have to be a scorching hot day for the car to quickly heat up,” Mr Drummond said. 

“Tests by Ambulance Victoria found that even on a 29-degree day the inside of a car can reach 44 degrees within 10 minutes and hit 60 degrees within 20 minutes. 

“Tragically there have been cases of children dying in hot cars in Victoria in recent years and it’s not worth risking leaving your children in a car.”

About 44 per cent of call-outs involved children under the age of 13 from 11am to 3pm.

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