- Victorian Coalition Government launches No Exceptions, No Excuses to warn parents on the dangers of leaving their children inside cars
- No Exceptions, No Excuses campaign starts on Monday with print, radio and online advertising
- Do not leave your children unattended in cars
Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell today launched the No Exceptions, No Excuses campaign as temperatures soared above 40 degrees.
“The temperature inside a car on a day like today begins to rise as soon as you close the door – and within a matter of minutes – can be double the outside temperature,” Ms Lovell said.
“This sort of heat can lead to devastating and potentially tragic results. “We must remember that young children’s smaller body size and underdeveloped nervous systems place them at a much greater risk of heatstroke, dehydration and other health problems compared to older kids or adults.”
The No exceptions, No excuses campaign involves:
- Print advertising in metro and regional newspapers;
- Radio advertising on metro and regional radio and ethnic stations;
- Digital advertising;
- Social media;
- Online information kits distributed to all early childhood facilities, schools, local governments, maternal child health centres, medical centres, local libraries, retail trader associations, Victorian sporting associations and ethnic communities urging them to raise awareness of the campaign; and
- Research with involving approximately 1,000 Victorian parents about perceptions of leaving children unattended in cars, why it happens and what can be done to further raise awareness of not leaving children alone in cars.
Ms Lovell said the campaign was in response to a recent increase in cases of children being left in hot cars.
Melanie Courtney, CEO of Kidsafe Victoria said that the ‘No exceptions, No excuses’ campaign provides an important reminder about how deadly the temperature inside a parked car can be.
‘Particularly during the warmer summer months, it’s important that messages about the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars reach as many families as possible’ said Ms Courtney.
‘It is important to note that some incidents occur when children are unintentionally locked inside a car. Parents and carers should always keep their keys on them when packing and unpacking the car to help reduce the risk of incidents like this occurring’ said Ms Courtney Minister Lovell said during our last week-long heat wave from 13-17 January, Ambulance Victoria were called to 50 cases of children in cars.
“This follows troubling data from 2013, where paramedics were called to 1100 cases, 200 more than the previous year.”
Two thirds of all incidents were attributed to car parks, streets or public places. “I urge anyone who sees a child alone in a parked car to raise the alarm and call emergency services,” Ms Lovell said.
Ms Lovell said the awareness campaign aimed to reach Victorian parents and carers during the state’s peak hot period, as they resumed their routines after the long school holiday break.
“It can be tempting to leave children in the car when making a quick stop at the shops, or doing the school pick up, but being away for even a moment can lead to serious harm or tragic results,” Ms Lovell said.
“The message is clear – if you are travelling with a child in a car and you need to get out, make sure you take your child with you. No exceptions. No excuses.”
Victorian legislation makes leaving a child unattended in a car a criminal offence, with penalties ranging from fines of $2165 or three months in prison.