Leaving kids in cars
Every year in Australia, over 5,000 children are rescued after being left unattended in a car.
Between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2015, Ambulance Victoria paramedics rescued 1,433 children (under 13 years of age) who had been left unattended in a car (Ambulance Victoria, December 2015). Figures from Ambulance Victoria reveal that November - March was the busiest period with an average of five call outs to a child left unattended in a car per day and that 45% of incidents occurred between 11am and 3pm.
The thought of running a quick errand and leaving the children in the car for a minute can be tempting for a parent or carer. Leaving children unattended in a car on any day is dangerous, let alone a hot summer’s day. It could result in serious injury or death.
In Victoria it is an offence for a person responsible for a child to leave the child unattended for any longer than is reasonable, without making appropriate arrangements for the child’s supervision and care. This includes leaving a child unattended in a car.
The penalties for leaving a child unattended in a car in Victoria include:
A fine (currently $3,690), or
A maximum of 6 months jail.