A man’s eye-opening cooking experiment has highlighted the danger of leaving children and pets in hot cars.
The severe heatwave sweeping across Australia inspired Perth resident Stu Pengelly to see if it’s possible to cook a 1.5kg pork roast inside his old Datsun on a 39-degree day.
Mr Pengelly posted on Facebook that he placed the meat inside the vehicle on Friday for 10 hours, monitoring the temperature inside as the outside temperature soared.
“It worked a treat!” he wrote alongside images of the well cooked pork.
Mr Pengelly said the temperature inside the car was 30C at 7am before climbing to a staggering 81 at 1pm.
He said the car has tinted windows, but its door and window seals don’t work and there’s a large rusted hole in the roof.
“If this was a later model vehicle and painted black the temperature at a guess could climb significantly higher,” he said.
Mr Pengelly said he conducted the experiment to show how dangerous it is to leave children and pets inside cars - even for a minute.
“If you do see kids or dogs in a hot car do not hesitate to smash a window to get them out ASAP. Please keep a watch out,” he said.
Parents still leaving kids in cars, NRMA says
His desperate warning has been reaffirmed by the NRMA, who says research shows more than 50 per cent of parents are still leaving their children unattended in cars as they pay for fuel, or duck into the shops for milk.
On a standard Australian summer day, temperatures inside a parked car can surpass 30 degrees.
This week, most of the country is bracing for extreme temperatures of higher than 40 degrees.
So far this year the NRMA has rescued more than 2,000 kids and 1,500 pets from cars.
However, most of the cases were the result of parents accidentally locking their keys and children in their car.
NRMA Road Safety Expert Dimitra Vlahomitros said it is not worth the risk to leave children in a locked car, no matter for how long.
“At high temperatures like those we experience in Sydney, it only takes a few short minutes for children to become dehydrated and distressed,” Ms Vlahomitros said.
“While it’s tempting to leave the kids strapped in to quickly run into to pay for fuel – it can be a recipe for disaster. Where possible, look for petrol stations where you can pay at the pump.
“If you see a child unattended in a car and cannot locate the parents, call triple-0 and await instructions. If the child or pet is clearly distressed, and you have no time to wait for the police or an NRMA patrol, find a way to safely break a window,” she said.
Twin sisters die after allegedly being left in car
Two sisters, aged one and two, died in November after their mother allegedly left them inside her station wagon parked outside of her Brisbane home.
Kerri-Ann Conley, 27, has since been charged with two counts of murder and drug-related charges.
In October, a three-month-old boy was rushed to hospital after being allegedly left in a car in a shopping car park.
A passer-by heard the baby crying at Armadale Shopping City and opened a rear door to allow for more air, before calling the police.
A man believed to be the boy’s father was charged with leaving a child unsupervised in a vehicle.
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