Media Release


Hot cars and kids are a deadly mix



With summer weather heating up, Health Minister David Davis has warned parents about the dangers of leaving young children unattended in cars.


Mr Davis joined Kidsafe Victoria at Coburg Medical Centre to demonstrate how quickly the inside temperature of a car can increase to dangerous levels.


David Davis, Victorian Minister for Health with Ambulance Victoria representatives, and Katherine and Ada, aged two years, at the launch this morning.

``Parents should be aware that in
Victoria, it is against the law to leave a child unattended in a vehicle,'' Mr Davis said.


``Last year (2009) alone, there were 1272 children rescued from locked cars.


``With hot weather, such as today, leaving a child unsupervised in a car _ even for a short amount of time _ can cause injury and potentially death.''


Mr Davis said that on a typical summer's day, the temperature inside a parked car can be 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.


Tests conducted on a 29°C day, with the car's air conditioning having cooled the interior to 19.2°C, it took just 1.5 minutes to reach the outside temperature (30.4°C).


It took 6.5 minutes to reach 40.5°C, more than double the initial interior temperature.


Mr Davis said these dangerous temperatures could rapidly lead to heat distress, to which children were likely to succumb very quickly.


``Research has shown that leaving the window down has little effect, so take your child with you after parking your car, even to run a quick errand,'' Mr Davis said.


President of Kidsafe Victoria, Dr Mark Stokes, said children in the past had died after being left in parked cars.


``Due to their smaller body size and underdeveloped nervous system, children have an ineffective cooling system,'' Dr Stokes said.


``Information for parents and carers about the impact of leaving a child in a hot car is available on the Kidsafe website at

The fact sheet Kids in Hot Cars provides information and advice for parents about summer safety issues including:

·         Providing plenty of cool fluids to avoid dehydration during long trips;

·         Dressing children appropriately in hot weather;

·         Ensuring all children wear well fitted, and age appropriate restraints; and

·         Plan travel in the cool hours of the day.


*In January 2007, a little girl died in the back of a car in Melbourne's western suburbs, with the temperature in Melbourne about 31 degrees Celsius."


Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, Kidsafe - Mobile: 0417 329 201