Worrying increase in children and pets locked in vehicles

 

 

There is an alarming rise in children and pets locked inside vehicles this summer, creating a spike in emergency AA Roadservice callouts.

About 210 children and pets were rescued from vehicles by the AA from December 1 to January 31, an increase of more than 20% for the same period last summer.
AA National Roadservice Manager John Healy says the upsurge in incidences is deeply concerning.
“These types of lockouts are happening far more often than people think,” says Mr Healy.
“AA Roadservice Officers attended more than 1500 emergency callouts last year – that’s 1500 times a child or animal was put at risk because they were either consciously left in a vehicle, or car keys were accidentally lost or locked inside with them,” he says.
While these emergency lockouts are only a small fraction of the AA’s total Roadservice calls, the high number of them indicates a need for greater awareness of the risks posed to animals and children.
“The temperature inside a vehicle with no ventilation rises rapidly, particularly in summer, and it doesn’t take long before a child or a pet gets agitated and suffers the effects of heat exhaustion with its potentially fatal consequences,” says Mr Healy.
He adds that some people think leaving windows slightly open will alleviate the heat inside a vehicle and is a safe alternative, but it isn’t and puts the child or pet in just as much risk.
“The best thing you can do is never leave your kids or pets locked in the car, no matter what,” he urges.
Many AA Roadservice callouts however are triggered by accidental lockouts.
“Vehicle technologies have changed with automatic deadlocking, which makes them harder to get into and easier to get caught out if you’re not paying attention to where your keys are.
The AA immediately prioritises any calls involving children or pets locked inside a vehicle.
Two Officers arrive at the scene regardless of whether the person is an AA Member or not. If the situation is deemed too serious, the AA also notifies the Fire Service.
To call the AA for emergency lockout assistance, dial 0800 500 222 or *222 from mobile phones.

Since you’re here… we have a small favour to ask. More and more people want the Post than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Post’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. With investigative reporting, we often don't know at the beginning how a story will unfold and how long it might take to uncover. This can mean it is costly – particularly as we often face legal threats that attempt to stop our reporting. But we remain committed to raising important questions and exposing wrongdoing. And we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as NZ$5, you can support the Post – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *