WHO would leave a child alone in a car on a hot day? No-one would be silly enough do that, would they?
Sadly, quite a few people do – and this time of year the warmer weather makes incidents even more dangerous.
“This practice is completely unacceptable,” Mornington fire station officer Simon Mildren said.
“Many people are unaware of the high temperatures that can occur in a brief moment of sun exposure on a locked vehicle. It can take only minutes for the temperature in a car to become dangerous and life threatening.
“The message needs to be clear: Do not leave kids or animals in unattended vehicles.”
Mr Mildren said fire brigades along the peninsula had already handled a spate of incidents this spring.
“The public does not give this issue the importance it deserves.”
He offered these tips:
- Never let your kids play with your car keys;
- Never let children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them a vehicle is not a play area;
- If you have to put your keys down while you load the vehicle then put them in the ignition or on the roof of the car;
- Call 000 immediately if you have locked someone in a vehicle, as minutes can save lives.
Mr Mildren urged people in a life-threatening situation to not wait for the emergency services to arrive. “They should get into the car to help the child or animal, even if that means breaking a window,” he said.
“If you see a child left alone in a hot vehicle, always make sure the child is okay and responsive. If not, call 000 immediately.
“If the child appears to be OK, try to find the parents; if the child is not responsive and appears in great distress, attempt to get into the car to assist the child, even if that means breaking a window.”