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Alarming increase in kids locked in cars

Gareth Parker
Article image for Alarming increase in kids locked in cars

There has been an increase in the amount of children and pets being locked in cars this year, prompting a stark warning for Western Australians ahead of summer.

The figures released by the RAC show 290 children and 165 pets have been rescued from locked cars between January and November this year.

Which is an increase of 26 children and 12 pets from last years figures for the entire 12 months.

CEO of Kids Safe WA Scott Phillips told 6PR Breakfast “It’s staggering, we don’t want one child to be hurt like this.”

He said time is critical when a child is trapped because the temperature inside a parked car can be up to 30 degrees hotter than outside on a typical summer day.

“Within five minutes 75 per cent of that increase has happened, and within 15 minutes it’s up to 30 degrees hotter,” he said.

“Little bodies don’t tolerate temperature the same way an adult would tolerate temperature, so they get hot quickly and they get disorientated.”

The Kids Safe WA CEO told Mark Gibson most lock-ins occur when a child is given the keys to play with.

“Most people don’t intend ever to hurt their children, a lot of it is accidental.”

He said opening a window won’t significantly reduce the temperature during hotter months of the year.

“It drops the temperature about three degrees, and that is not enough to make a difference.”

Mr Phillips urged parents to try and run errands during cooler hours of the day and to stay vigilant.

“Make sure you try and have some signal to yourself that your child is in the back of your car,” he said.

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)

Gareth Parker