Temperatures are expected to soar over the next few days in southeastern Australia.
Temperatures are expected to soar over the next few days in southeastern Australia.

More than half of parents are still leaving kids in hot cars

AS temperatures are set to soar in southeastern Australia over the next few days, concerning research findings have revealed more than 50 per cent of parents are still leaving their children unattended in cars to pay for fuel or duck into a store.

That's according to the NRMA, who today released a statement revealing more than 2,000 children and 1,500 pets have been rescued from cars this year.

A number of these cases were the result of parents accidentally locking the car.

However parents as well as pet-owners are being cautioned that the temperature inside a car can be 30 degrees hotter than outside the car.

NRMA Road Safety Expert Dimitra Vlahomitros said it only takes a few minutes for children to become dehydrated and distressed inside a hot car.

"While it's tempting to leave the kids strapped in to quickly run in to pay for fuel - it can be a recipe for disaster. Where possible, look for petrol stations where you can pay at the pump," she said."

NRMA Patrol Matthew Nesbit said the NRMA received thousands of calls a year from frantic parents who have accidentally locked their children in the car.

"As soon as a call comes into our call centre about a child locked in a car it's immediately put to the top of our job list, regardless of whether they are members or not," said Mr Nesbit.

"When we arrive, it's usually the parents who are more distressed than the children inside the vehicle.

"Best thing to do in this situation is not to panic, just pick up the phone and call us immediately."

In Coffs Harbour temperatures are forecast to reach a top of 31 degrees on Saturday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The next few days will be hazy with no chance of rain.

If you see a child unattended in a car and cannot locate the parents, call triple-zero and wait for instructions.

If the child or pet is clearly distressed and you have no time to wait for police or NRMA, find a way to safely break the window.