Thousands Of Aussie Kids And Pets Rescued From Cars Every Year
As Australia heads into another hot summer, road safety authorities are warning parents and pet owners not to get complacent when it comes to leaving kids and animals in cars.
Across the country, thousands of children and pets are rescued from locked cars by road safety authorities every year.
While the majority are rescued and end up recovering from common symptoms including dehydration and heatstroke, sadly every year there are also cases of fatalities.
Now, statistics provided by leading state road bodies have revealed the extent of the issue in Australia.
According to the statistics, NSW and Queensland are the worst offenders when it comes to the number of rescues carried out by roadside assistance workers in recent years.
So how does each state measure up?
NSW & ACT
NSW and the ACT are among the worst offenders.
Statistics provided by the NRMA show that this year alone the NRMA has assisted with the rescue of 1,926 children from cars and further 1,505 pets. That's before the summer months have even begun.
Last year the total number of rescues of pets and children sat at a staggering 3,595.
Positively, it appears drivers in NSW and the state's capital are beginning to get the message, with the NRMA statistics showing a year-by-year decline of the number of rescues since 2015.
|Year||Children Rescued||Pets Rescued||Total Rescued|
Over just the last 12 months across the state in Queensland, RACQ patrols have rescued more than 1,300 children and 859 pets from locked vehicles.
RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said as we head into warmer months its even more important that kids and pets are never left alone in a car.
Ross said even just 10 minutes inside a locked car can see the temperature inside reach "unbearable" levels, even where windows are lowered.
"We are urging parents and pet owners to never leave their child or pet in the car," Ross told 10 daily.
"Even if you're just popping into the shops for 10 minutes, it can be 10 minutes too long."
Road authorities in Victoria are also continuing to warn that a few minutes in extreme temperatures can make all the difference.
Last year, the RACV rescued 983 children locked in cars, which averages out to around three every day.
At least 439 animals were also rescued from locked cars in 2018 alone.
General Manager Public Policy Bryce Prosser told 10 daily that when the outside temperature is 30 degrees, it can take only minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to exceed 70 degrees.
"We understand that it can be easy to become distracted, and sophisticated locking technology is making accidental lock-ins more likely," Prosser said.
"But momentary lapses in concentration can result in serious consequences for children locked in hot cars."
According to the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia, 346 children and 233 animal rescues have been carried out this year alone.
In 2018, the total number was 367 children and 215 animals, slightly higher than in 2017 where 286 children and 185 animals were rescued.
The RAA warns that, in particular, vehicles should be checked when using remote locking.
"Don't become complacent on cooler days," the RAA said in a statement.
"A car can still get dangerously hot on a 25-degree day."