We all know how sticky and uncomfortable Australian summers are. Most of the country has just experienced a heatwave like nothing we’ve felt in a long time – consecutive days of upwards on 40 degrees! Even sitting in the shade with a nice breeze had us sweltering. So imagine a toddler, trapped in a car – no breeze or shelter from the sun – how long does it take for that car to heat up?
The RACQ did a test. They parked some cars on a day with an average temperature of 32 degrees – not even close to the heatwave we’ve had. This is what they found:
- It took 1-2 minutes for the temperature to go from air-con cool to ambient (outside temperature).
- It took 7 minutes to reach 40 degrees inside the car – anything above 40 has been found to cause serious injury or death to the occupants.
- The temperature inside the car peaked at 75.1 degrees during the test.
- The steering wheel itself reached 82.6 degrees.
The facts speak for themselves. The difference in temperature with different coloured cars, cars with sunshades, and cars with tinted windows was only a few degrees either way. Nothing that is going to save the person sweltering inside.
It is not, and never will be okay to leave kids in the car on any day – especially during summer – for ANY amount of time. Those 5 minutes it takes to grab a loaf of bread from the corner shop can have your kids close to the serious injury or death zone.
Don’t take the risk – don’t leave the kids. And always check where your kids are before locking the doors and walking away.