Never Leave Kids In Cars

01 February 2017

New Ambulance Victoria data reveals paramedics are getting an average of four call outs a day across Melbourne for kids left in locked cars.

With February’s hot temperatures looming, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Ambulance Victoria today released data showing where paramedics were called to incidents of kids being left in a locked car last year.

The Andrews Labor Government is working with Kidsafe and Ambulance Victoria to increase awareness of the dangers of leaving children in parked cars.

In 2016 Ambulance Victoria were called to a staggering 1562 callouts for kids left in cars, with:

  • Toddlers making up eight out of 10 kids left in cars
  • One out of five kids requiring medical treatment, including 15 who were taken to hospital.

Despite heat warnings and significant penalties, an average of four kids a day are being put at risk of serious heat-related injury or death by being left unattended in parked cars. In the worst of these cases, firefighters rescued children from a locked car before they were treated by paramedics.

Ms Mikakos was joined by campaign ambassador and AFL legend Shane Crawford at Sunshine shopping centre in Brimbank to highlight the dangers of leaving kids in cars and remind parents how easy it is to underestimate the time it can take to run a quick errand.

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.

In Victoria, it is against the law to leave children unattended in a car. Parents or carers could face fines of nearly $3,700 or up to six months’ jail, or both.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“Hot cars kill – so there are no excuses, and no exceptions. We know children are especially at risk because they lose fluids quicker, become dehydrated and can suffer life threatening heat stroke.”

“It is disappointing to see Ambulance Victoria paramedics had more than 1500 callouts for kids being left in cars last year – these numbers represent a loved son or daughter being put at risk of serious injury or death.”

Quote attributable to Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman

It’s never safe to leave children in cars on hot days. The temperature in a car can double in minutes.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

Was this page helpful?