Parents are being warned not to leave their children in cars this summer as new statistics reveal the top 10 postcodes for ambulance call outs to kids stuck in vehicles.
Concerning new data shows Ambulance Victoria responded to 1,696 callouts across Victoria in the year to August, with the vast majority being cases involving toddlers and babies left in cars.
A new Andrews Labor Government campaign, which features AFL legend Matthew Richardson, aims to make people aware of the potential dangers and will see advertisements run on television, radio and social media.
Mr Richardson, who became a dad to baby Zoey in September, today joined Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Member for Preston Robin Scott at Northland Shopping Centre in Preston to officially launch the campaign.
The Andrews Labor Government is working with Kidsafe and Ambulance Victoria to increase awareness and remind parents just how easy it is to underestimate the time it can take to run a quick errand.
On average, four kids a day are being put at risk of serious heat-related injury or death by being left unattended in parked cars. A car's temperature can more than double within minutes, meaning on a typical summer day the temperature inside a parked car can quickly become 20-30 degrees hotter than outside.
Kids' body temperatures rise three to five times faster than an adult's, meaning they are at greater risk of life-threatening heatstroke, dehydration and organ damage when left in the car.
The Labor Government's Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign includes radio and online advertising, as well as billboards around shopping centres and social media messages. In Victoria, it is against the law to leave children unattended, with offenders facing fines of up to $3900 or jail for six months, or both.
The top 10 postcodes for callouts were Werribee (43 callouts), Narre Warren (42), Tarneit (41), Pakenham (38), Frankston South (34), Roxburgh Park (33), Cranbourne (31), Ballarat (28), Melton (26) and Preston (23).
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
"There's no excuse and no exceptions – our most precious valuables, our children, should never be left in the car."
"Hot summer days can kill, and even on a milder day in the mid-20s, the temperature inside a parked vehicle can easily get to 20 to 30 degrees hotter than outside."
"Don't let a moment of complacency or frustration put your loved ones at risk – always take them with you."
Quotes attributable to Member for Preston Robin Scott
"Especially as a new father, I'd urge all parents and carers to heed this message."
"It may seem challenging for busy parents, but every time you get out of the car – even if just for a moment – take your kids with you."
Reviewed 19 August 2020