Parents warned of ‘serious danger’ this summer

Shopping centre carparks are a hotspot for locking kids and pets in cars. Picture: NCA NewsWire / James Gourley

Parents are being warned not to leave their kids in the car this summer, as sweltering temperatures increase the danger of hot cars.

New research released by the NRMA on Monday revealed there had been more than 1800 Roadside Assistance call-outs over the last 12 months due to a child or pet being locked in a car.

Last year, there were more than 4200 call-outs for children and pets locked in cars, the highest in a decade.

NRMA road safety expert Dimitra Vlahomitros said parents should never risk leaving their children alone in the car, even for a brief period of time.

Happy family inside car
Parents are being warned not to leave their kids in the car during summer. Picture: iStock

“Unfortunately, we are still seeing far too many children left unattended in the car, so we are again urging parents not to leave their children alone in the car,” she said.

“It is not worth the risk, even if you are quickly ducking into the shops.

“In just a few short minutes, temperatures can increase significantly, posing a serious danger to children and pets locked in a car.”

The three most common locations the NRMA is called out to free kids and pets from locked cars are shopping centre carparks (45 per cent), side streets (28 per cent), and home driveways (20 per cent).

The NRMA reminds all Australians to call triple-0 immediately if they see a child unattended in a car and cannot locate their parents.

Leaving an unattended child locked in a car under any circumstances is illegal and carries a maximum fine of $22,000.

In August, an 18-month-old baby died after being left in a car parked at Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia while the outside temperature climbed to 33C.

At least 10 children have died after being left in hot cars in Australia over the last five years, according to Kidsafe Australia.