Children can die or suffer serious brain damage if they are left in a hot car for even a short time, reveals a study.
Some 1,500 children were reportedly rescued from cars in the last 12 months. During November and December 2011, nine children were found in locked cars, with four such cases in the last four days.
"On a 29-degree day, with the car's air conditioning dropping the interior to 20 degrees, it takes just 10 minutes for the temperature to double to 44 degrees and in another 10 minutes it triples to a deadly 60 degrees," said Peter O'Meara, professor at the La Trobe University.
"Children and pets can die or suffer serious brain damage if they are left in a hot car for even a short amount of time. Young children are most at risk because they quickly dehydrate. They can lapse into unconsciousness, and may never fully recover," said O'Meara, who led the study, according to a university statement.
O'Meara said that even on mild days, leaving children in cars unattended can have catastrophic consequences.
He suggests keeping your car locked and secured from children; warn your children about playing in the car by themselves without adult supervision; install a boot release mechanism, so that they can't get trapped in the boot; remove children from your car first, then groceries etc.