A man has been charged after he allegedly left two young children locked in a car on a 26C day while he went shopping.
The 30-year-old from Manunda, in Cairns in north Queensland, allegedly went inside a store in Smithfield but left the children behind because they were asleep.
Police allege the children, both aged under five, woke up alone in the car and began crying and screaming.
A passerby allegedly heard their screams and called police.
The 30-year-old from Manunda, in Cairns in north Queensland, allegedly went inside a store in Smithfield but left the children behind because they were asleep
Police allege the incident occurred on September 3, when temperatures in Cairns reached 26C.
However the interiors of cars can heat up well beyond what is considered safe for children – usually within minutes.
In tests conducted by RACQ, the interior temperature of a car peaked at 75.1C when it was just 32.5C outside – more than double the outdoor temperature.
Even when parked in shaded areas, RACQ said interior temperatures can soar beyond 40C in Queensland.
Temperatures beyond 40C can lead to death or serious injury for children trapped in a car.
Temperatures beyond 40C can lead to death or serious injury for children trapped in a car
Dr Neil Archer, the Cairns Hospital Paediatrics Clinical Director said more care needed to be taken to prevent tragedies from occurring.
‘A third of the deaths from this kind of tragic occurrence are under one year old and 95 per cent are under four,’ he said.
Police have not confirmed the relationship between the man and the two young children.
The man was charged with leaving a child under 12 unattended and will front court on December 8.