Kids die in hot cars campaign heats up

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FRANKSTON South has been named as the fifth highest hotspot across the state for ambulance callouts to free children stuck in cars.

A new Victorian government Don’t Leave Kids In Cars campaign, featuring former AFL Richmond player Matthew Richardson himself a new father, will urge parents and carers not to leave babies, toddlers and children in cars alone in any circumstances.

The government says that four children a day in Victoria are 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.

Youngsters’ 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 a car.

“There’s no excuse and no exceptions – our most precious valuables, our children, should never be left in the car,” Victorian Families and Children Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

“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.”

The Don’t Leave Kids In Cars message is a state government, Kidsafe and Ambulance Victoria campaign.

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).

First published in the Frankston Times – 8 January 2018

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