'Heat Kills': 256 Kids Found Locked In Hot Cars In Just Six Weeks, As Nation Battles Heatwave
More than 250 children were found locked inside hot cars in one Australian state alone over just six weeks, government data has revealed.
Parents are being warned not to leave their kids in hot cars as the nation faces a summer of record-breaking temperatures.
A statement from the Victorian Government revealed a total of 256 calls to emergency services over children trapped in cars had been made in the state since November 1, and 485 patients had been assessed with a heat-related condition in the same period of time.
Melbourne is expected to sweat through Friday, with temperatures rising to 44 degrees. In the Mallee district, the mercury is expected to nudge 47 degrees.
A car's temperature can more than double within minutes, while children's body temperatures rise three to five times faster than adults, meaning they are at greater risk of life-threatening heatstroke, dehydration, and organ damage when they are left in the car.
“It’s simple: don’t ever leave your kids alone in the car – the consequences can be deadly," Jenny Mikakos, Victoria's Minister for Health, said on Friday.
During Wednesday's scorcher, there were eight children locked in cars, two in regional areas and six in metropolitan areas.
In one incident, a pre-school aged girl was treated by paramedics after being left with a primary school-aged child in a car about 4.30 pm in Narre Warren, southeast Melbourne as the temperature surged to 40 degrees.
But it's not just the young ones who are affected -- extreme heat kills more Victorians than any other natural disaster, according to state government figures.
Last summer there were an average 11 callouts for heat exposure on days above 35 degrees, compared to just two on cooler days.
“Heat can and does kill -- it is a confronting but very real fact and that is why we are urging the community to prepare," Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Friday.
"Heat illness can affect anybody”.
What to do to survive the heat
- Drink plenty of water, stay cool and seek out air-conditioned buildings
- Plan ahead and schedule activities in the coolest part of the day
- Check in on others - Look after those most at risk in the heat.
- For more information on staying cool this summer visit the Better Health Channel