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Hot Tips for Kids and Pets in Cars

Travelling with children adn pets over summer has become a hot issue in the road safety area.

Car crashes are the number one cause of child accidental death in Australia and Kidsafe, which is a Child Accident Prevention Foundation program is keen to promote awareness of the problem.

Top of the list is the fitting and wearing of child restraint systems. Around 70 per cent of in-vehicle child restraints are incorrectly fitted or used and that accounts for a high percentage of serious injury.

Parents should be aware of the following while travelling with children over the summer period:

  • Double check that the harness fits the child (Contact Kidsafe on 9427 1008 for a brochure).
  • Do not use a hood to protect the baby from the sun when using rear facing restraints. It will decrease airflow around the baby's head. Instead, use a visor or sun shade.
  • Provide plenty of cool fluids and offer them regularly.
  • Dress children in light colours and light weight fabrics to promote air flow around the body.
  • Stop at least every two hours for exercise. Baby also needs stretch and exercise time so let it roll on a rug on the ground.
  • Never leave children alone in a car (buckled up or not) while you run a quick errand.
  • Avoid travelling in the hottest parts of the day when planning your trip.
  • Research by Kidsafe shows that airflow decreases inside a car when temperature and humidity begin to rise. The younger the child, the faster the onset of heatstroke and dehydration.

On a typical Australian summer day, the temperature inside a parked car can be as much as 30 to 40 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. For example, on a 30 degree day, the inside car temperature could be as high as 70 degrees.

And larger cars heat up just as quickly as smaller cars. Winding windows down by five centimetres causes only a slight temperature drop.