Heat and cars can be a deadly combination: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has urged Queenslanders to be cautious when placing kids or animals in cars as new data revealed RACQ had attended more than 1,000 callouts to rescue trapped occupants of cars in the past six months.

RACQ Patrol rescuing a child locked in car

RACQ spokesperson Kirsty Clinton said in the summer months it was particularly important for parents and carers to be vigilant as the temperature inside a vehicle could rise quickly.

“Shockingly, these numbers show, over the past six months, an average of five children or animals are rescued from locked cars in Queensland every day,” Ms Clinton said.

“Most of these are accidental lock-ins and happen when Mum or Dad give the child the keys to play with, and they accidently press the lock button.

“When your child’s in the car, keep the keys on you at all times, and in these warm months, consider putting a window all the way down before you shut the door, just in case!”

Ms Clinton warned children were at risk of death or serious injury if they were left in cars.

“There’s no safe time to leave a child unattended in a car. Especially here in Queensland where our testing shows temperatures inside the car can rise by 10 degrees in just eight minutes – even if your car’s parked in the shade or a window’s left open,” she said.

“We always treat these call outs as the highest priority, so if you do accidently lock your child in the car, whether you’re a member or not, stay calm and call us, or 000, straight away.”

To avoid accidental lock-ins, RACQ recommended drivers:

  • Always take children with you – even if you only intend to leave the car for a brief time
  • Keep the keys with the driver – never leave them with the child, in the ignition, or place them on a car seat
  • Never let children play with keys or access an unattended vehicle
  • Check the vehicle is empty before remote locking – it is easy to make a mistake and accidentally lock children inside
  • If a child is locked in a car, keep calm and call RACQ (13 1111) immediately, ring emergency services (000) if there are concerns about the child’s health.