Keeping Children Safe in Cars and on the Roads in Australia

Today, again, in the news there was another story about somebody leaving their young child unattended and locked up in a parked car. This is a particularly dumb thing to do no matter what country you live in, but in a hot country, like Australia, it is stupidity of the highest order.

temperatureé Gregorio Sánchez Duarte

But when it is done in hot country like Australia in the middle of summer, when it’s really really hot, and I mean approaching 40°, it is majorly moronic. It is also an offence and the man has been charged.

One can only assume this man made a genuine mistake, or maybe he just wasn’t aware. So this post isn’t for everyone, I’m sure the vast majority of my readers do not need a lecture from me on parenting skills, but as you will see from some of the numbers that follow, some people do.

That’s the reason I’m writing this post today.

Keeping our kids safe

I am also writing it because I received an email recently from Holly Davis. She told me her and one of her friends were trying to raise awareness to help keep kids safe in Australia, particularly on the roads.

She also told me that “For kids aged 0-14, around 250 are killed each year and 58,000 hospitalized, where transport injuries are the major cause.” She wondered if I could join in and help raise people’s awareness around Australia. Why not, I thought, worth a try.

Our children, after all, are extremely precious.

Children PlayingNo need for me to do any research on this one, Holly provided me with three links to websites with a great deal of information on this very subject. Let’s start with those hot cars.

Children left unattended in cars

All I’m going to do is give you a tiny bit of information from each of these websites and then provide a link for you to visit them to find out more if you want to.

Here are the amazingly shocking snippets I want to tell you about from the first website:

  • Between 1st September 2013 and 31st August 2014, Ambulance Victoria paramedics rescued 1,165 children who had been left unattended in a car
  • The summer months (December 2013 – March 2014) were the busiest period with an average of four call outs to a child left unattended in a car per day

That’s just in Victoria! How many kids are being left in cars Australia wide? Or worldwide?

Obviously this problem goes away as soon as parents/carers stop locking their kids in cars. That appears unlikely to happen though, given the numbers, but the rest of us can help out. If you see a young child locked in a car, call emergency services as soon as possible.

It’s okay to do it, you are not being a busybody, you are not poking your nose in, you are not being judgemental. You might though just save a young child’s life.

kids in carsI do hope that kidsafevic didn’t mind me borrowing the above graphic, and I do also hope that you visit their website to find out much more information about this and how you can keep your children safe. As well as their campaign to stop this sort of thing happening, you can also find out about the laws, pedestrian safety, driveway safety, child restraints and much more.

Child safety in the car

For a second opinion, I have a second website. You can learn a great deal about child safety in the car, here’s a summary of just a small fraction of what you can read about:

  • By law, children must be restrained appropriately at all times when travelling in a car in Australia
  • Make sure you choose the right restraint for your child and your vehicle
  • Restraints need to be fitted and used correctly
  • Travelling with children can be challenging, but there are things you can do to make the journey easier and safer
  • Only move children to the next category of restraint once they are too big for their current restraint

To find out a whole lot more:

By the way, if I’m not mistaken all child car seats need to be to Australian standards, so if you are coming here from overseas you can give your old child car seat away before you leave.

Car and road safety guide for kids

The third and final website offers lots of car and road safety tips for kids. For example, here’s what they say about staying safe on the road:

  • When it is safe to walk and cross
  • Why we need to stop and wait
  • What to look for
  • What to listen for
  • Why we have to keep checking until we are safely across the road

You will also find further useful information about staying safe in the car, there are safety tips for while you’re driving, more on restraints, helmets and much more.

By the way, pets die in parked cars as well, so don’t leave them locked in whilst you go to the shops either. No living creature should be locked in your car ever, well, apart from cockroaches, cane toads and mosquitoes.

They are fair game.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Alexander February 18, 2016, 3:40 pm |

    1165 kids rescued. Over 2000 stupid parents.
    In Kazakhstan, we can see a new (shocking) trend. Young girls get rid of their infants by throwing them away from a moving car inside a box, into the hole under an open-air toilet, leaving them in a trash box to be found by cleaners, etc. The explanation sounds still worse: families try to rescue the reputation of their daughters as they get pregnant mostly before they get married, which is bad. We kinda Muslim country after all.

    • BobinOz February 18, 2016, 6:44 pm |

      That sounds absolutely atrocious Alexander, I’m speechless. I hope it’s a practice that comes to an end very soon.

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