Record jump in number of children locked in cars

THERE’S been an alarming jump in the in the number of small children being left locked in cars in Queensland.

RACQ patrols were called to rescue more than 200 babies and toddlers last month, with 16 needing to be rescued in just one day.

RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said the figures are shocking.


“Usually RACQ rescues an average of three babies every day in Queensland, so it’s alarming to see those figures more than double,” she said.

“Even now during the winter months, it’s never safe to leave a child alone in a vehicle for any period of time.”

Ms Ritchie said RACQ tests revealed it took as little as seven minutes for the car’s internal temperature to reach 40 degrees.

“Whether you’re parking in the shade or if the weather is a little cooler the risks remain the same,” she said.

“Being exposed to such high temperatures in a car can kill or lead to severe injury for young children in a relatively short time.”

Ms Ritchie said new car technology could be a double-edged sword when it came to vehicle safety.

“It’s now easier than ever to secure your car with the click of a button but it also means it can be that easy for a child to lock themselves inside,” she said.

The RACQ advises any parent whose child is locked in a car to remain calm and call RACQ (13 1905) immediately or emergency services (000).