At 3pm for 15 minutes, on February 11, the state member for Logan Linus Power and local Mandy Petrie will record and share the temperature inside a locked car to highlight the dangers of leaving children in cars.
Research shows that the temperature of a closed car can increase by 75% within five minutes.
In Brisbane, this means on an average summer’s day the temperature inside the car can quickly reach over 50°C.
“Every summer it seems that we are reminded of the dangers of leaving children in cars, yet sadly we still read about children being left in cars. I know most people don’t leave their kids in cars, but the numbers are quite disturbing,” Mr Power said.
Research estimates that over 1500 children a year are left unattended in cars a year in Queensland.
Some children go unnoticed but records are held by those who save children such as RACQ, emergency services and shopping centres.
Ms Petrie was one of those who ensured that the child she helped save was recorded.
“Last winter I was walking back to my car at a shopping centre and noticed a toddler strapped in a car seat. It was winter, so the child rugged up, the poor thing was alone and visibly distressed,” she said.
“Thankfully there were people around, so I could raise the alarm with security, and emergency services were called. The child survived, but it could have been so much worse. What if it was a quiet day and no one was around?.”
As the temperature rises children become dehydrated and are more sensitive to heatstroke and asphyxia which can lead to death.
Leaving the windows of a car open only reduces soaring temperatures slightly, and still poses health risks and opens a child up to other dangers.
In Queensland leaving a child under the age of 12 unattended in a car is a criminal offence.
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