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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Keep Your Kids Safe This Summer #MBRnews

With temperatures rising as summer fast approaches, State Member for Morayfield, Mark Ryan MP is reminding locals about the potential dangers of leaving babies and children unattended in cars.

Mr Ryan said on a warm day the temperature inside a car can reach well over 50 degrees within minutes. 

“These temperatures – even for a few minutes - are enough to leave a baby or child with life-long complications or even lead to their death,” Mr Ryan said. 

“Children and babies die every year in Queensland from being left unattended in cars; this tragedy is completely preventable. 

“The temperature in a car can be significantly greater than the outside temperature – up to 40 degrees hotter. 

“75 per cent of the temperature increase occurs in the first five minutes, meaning that even this short time can put your child at risk of serious illness and even death. 

“Children and babies are more at risk of hyperthermia and dehydration and can begin to suffer from the symptoms rapidly.” 

Mr Ryan said it was always best to take your children with you, no matter how quick you planned to be. 

“It’s just not worth the risk,” Mr Ryan said. 

Mr Ryan said there had been tragic cases in which children were unintentionally left in cars. 

“We all know how easy it can be, particularly when you are busy or stressed, as parents so often are. 

“That’s why it can be helpful to develop a strategy within your family to help minimise the risk of this happening,” Mr Ryan said. 

“It may sound obvious, but something as simple as placing your handbag, brief case or house keys in the backseat of the car can be an effective way to jog your memory. 

“It also helps to be clear about who is responsible for getting children in and out of the car and always check the car immediately if you are in any doubt. 

“Avoid placing your child’s car seat behind the driver’s seat as it is not in your line of vision and you may not see the baby or child is there. 

“And always keep your car locked when not in use – toddlers may get into a car and then not know how to get out, risking overheating.” 

Mr Ryan said some parents leave their child in a car so as not to wake them. 

“It may seem like a shame to wake them, but leaving them in the car is simply not safe – babies and toddlers have died as a result. 

“Taking them with you is the only safe option.” 

Hot cars – quick facts: 

• It is never safe to leave a child or baby unattended in a car, always take them with you 
• Never leave a baby or child who has fallen asleep in an unattended car – it is better to risk the child waking up than risk your child’s health and safety. 
• Members of the public should alert authorities by dialling 000 immediately if they see a baby or child left unattended in a car, particularly if the weather is warm or hot.