Parents and pet owners have been put on alert as we head into summer.
The RACQ has revealed it has responded to 14 children and 14 pets locked in cars in the past 12 month in Rockhampton, while they have responded to 9 children and 8 pets locked in cars in Gladstone.
The warning comes as new RACQ research found the temperature inside a typical car parked outside can increase by 10 degrees within just 10 minutes.
RACQ Team Manager Patrol Operations Howard Strasser says these findings should serve as a serious reminder that it is never safe to leave children or animals in a vehicle, regardless of the timeframe, weather or situation.
“Leaving a sleeping child in a car for a short time while you pay for fuel or grab something from the shops can have deadly consequences,” Mr Strasser says.
“The temperature inside a vehicle can quickly reach dangerous temperatures, even if the weather outside doesn’t feel particularly hot.”
Mr Strasser says RACQ Roadside Assistance teams receive on average five calls every day for either children or animals locked in cars.
“While many of these cases are accidental, concerningly year after year we see the same volume of callouts.
“Generally, parents give their keys to their child to play with when they’re putting the groceries in the car, or they leave the keys in the car with the dog and the dog steps on the lock button.
“We urge parents and pet owners to keep their keys close at all times. Avoid using them as a toy or distraction for children, and when buckling in your child or pet don’t put them down in your car.
“Accidentally locking your child in a car is an extremely stressful situation for everyone involved, and we often find parents waste time trying to work out what to do or who to call.”
If a person or animal is locked in a car, give RACQ a call on 13 11 11.