RACQ responds to children trapped in hot cars
KIDS are being trapped in hot cars at an alarming rate with four reported in just one week as heatwave conditions hit the Gold Coast.
Kids were rescued from hot, locked cars at Nerang, Hollywell, Tallai and Upper Coomera between Tuesday and Saturday last week, all believed to be accidental.
RACQ responded to all four cases between 10am and 3pm - the hottest part of the day - in temperatures between 27 and 29C. It could not provide the ages of the children.
A baby boy was among the kids rescued, pulled unharmed from a car at Tallai on Thursday morning after he was accidentally locked inside.
Paramedics checked him at the scene but he did not require further treatment, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed.
RACQ mechanics have been called to help 611 children trapped inside cars in Queensland since May, along with a further 431 animals.
Last year, RACQ attended 1198 call-outs from across the state to free children from hot, unattended cars.
The mistake is so commonplace it is the first menu option on the RACQ automated message.
RACQ spokeswoman Kirsty Clinton said children playing with keys could result in them becoming trapped.
"Children can unintentionally get locked in vehicles when parents give them the keys to play with, and the child accidentally presses the lock button," she said.
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said inside a vehicle could easily be up to 30C hotter than the actual temperature, with children at most risk of serious injury or death.
"Toddlers and young children are especially vulnerable because their nervous system is still not fully developed and they can't adapt to the rising temperatures as readily as adults," the spokesman said.
"Also, children have a lower capacity to sweat, which reduces their ability to lose body heat by evaporation."
Meanwhile, the RSPCA is pleading with Gold Coast pet owners to stop locking their dogs in hot cars.
Inspectors attend to a dog left in a locked car every two days across the city, with 171 call-outs this year to date, already 14 more than the figure recorded for 2017.
Donna Oldfield, of Labrador, said rescue kelpie Buster, six, was never left alone in the car.
"If there's two of us in the car, one of us will stay with him in the airconditioning," she said.
Parents and carers can face up to three years imprisonment for leaving a child under the age of 12 unattended in a vehicle, while pet owners risk fines of up to $50,000.