Despite the cool weather, local police and medical professionals are urging motorists to plan outings with children and never be tempted to leave them in the car for just five minutes.
On September 3, Smithfield police were called to a shopping centre car park at Smithfield after it’s alleged that a 30-year-old man left two babies unattended in a parked vehicle.
Police allege a witness heard the children screaming from inside the locked car and thankfully found a partially opened window which allowed him to open the car door whilst he waited for police.
The two babies were allegedly left in the vehicle for more than 10 minutes in 26 degree heat.
The man has been charged with one count of leaving a child under 12 unattended and is scheduled to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court on December 8.
Officer in Charge of the Cairns Child Protection Investigation Unit Detective Senior Sergeant Mick Gooiker warned motorists of the dangers of leaving children in vehicles.
“Parents and carers have a responsibility to their children to ensure they are never left in vehicles unattended, regardless of their age or the weather conditions,” Detective Senior Sergeant Gooiker said.
Cairns Hospital Paediatrics Clinical Director Dr Neil Archer explained that one third of deaths from this kind of tragic occurrence are under one year old and 95 percent are under four.
“Temperatures can increase to dangerous levels in cars within just five minutes, regardless of the outside temperature,” Dr Archer said.
“Cracking the window makes no difference, the car heats up just as quickly.
“Babies, young children in car seats and pets for that matter, that cannot raise the alarm or get out of their car seats, are most at risk of harm in these circumstance.”
Please plan your trip and ensure your children and pets are never left unattended in your vehicle, even for just a couple of minutes.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.
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