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Summer warning: children and pets in hot vehicles

​The RACT and the RSPCA have urged motorists not to leave children or pets in hot vehicles this summer.​

​So far in 2017, the RACT has rescued 100 children and pets locked in vehicles in hot weather.

Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to 30-40C hotter than outside.

As the temperature inside a car increases, a child can begin to develop heat stress and start to dehydrate. Young children are more sensitive to heat than older children or adults, meaning they can be at greater risk of heat stroke and other health risks.

Other facts to consider:

  • Darker coloured cars can reach slightly higher temperatures when parked in the sun.
  • The colour of the interior trim has little impact on the speed the temperature inside a car increases.
  • Tinted windows make little difference to the temperature of the interior of a vehicle.
  • A large car can heat up just as quickly as a small car.
  • Having the windows down five centimetres causes only the slightest decrease in temperature.

The message is simple – if you have to leave the car, even for a short time, take the children with you.

At the RACT we understand that accidents happen – in the blink of an eye a child could be locked within a vehicle. Our patrols will drop everything to rescue a child, regardless of whether the caller is an RACT member.

If this does happen to you:

   1. Keep calm.

   2. Think clearly and act quickly.

   3. Call 13 11 11 immediately for Roadside assistance.

   4. Call Triple Zero (000) immediately for Emergency Services with any concerns about the child's health.

Please share this information with your family and friends. For tips and advice on avoiding locking your children in hot vehicles, click here​

​Also, a dog left in a hot car, even with windows ajar, could die within six minutes or at least suffer long-lasting effects.  The RACT says motorists should consider whether they need to take their pets on journeys, especially where they may have to leave the animal in the car, even for a short time.