Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 10, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2017 - PAGE 29
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The heat is on: Check keys and check kids
THE state’s leading transport advocate
RACV warns drivers to be vigilant to avoid
accidentally locking children in a vehicle.
RACV’s summer Check Keys – Check Kids
campaign informs parents about how dis-
tractions can easily result in children being
locked in cars, especially given the sophisti-
cated locking technology used in some mod-
In 2016, RACV patrols rescued 1406 chil-
dren from locked vehicles; on average RACV
attended about four callouts a day. The ma-
jority of these were accidental.
As part of the Check Keys – Check Kids
campaign RACV is distributing a car-key lan-
yard free of charge through RACV shops or
it can be ordered via racv.com.au/checkkeys.
RACV Education Programs coordinator,
Elvira Lazar, is encouraging all carers to get
hold of a lanyard and to use it on all car trips
“Any parent can become distracted and ac-
cidentally lock a child in the car and in hot
summer conditions this can be extremely
“Our testing has shown that a vehicle’s
cabin can soar to over 70 degrees in minutes
on a day when the outside temperature was
only 30 degrees.
“Younger children are more sensitive to
heat compared to older children and adults,
as their body temperature rises up to five
times faster than an older child’s and the
risk of dehydration and even heatstroke in-
creases if they’re in a hot car for a long time.”
Ms Lazar warned parents about giving car
keys to children to play with.
“This is a dangerous practice as children
can accidentally lock the car. Using RACV’s
lanyard is a convenient way for parents to
attach the keys when they’re parked and it
means parents will always know where their
keys are and that they are within easy reach
at all times,” she said.
“While RACV prioritises call- outs to vehicle
lock-ins involving children, the few minutes
it can take for a patrol to reach the scene
can make an enormous difference when tem-
peratures are extreme, ” Ms Lazar said.
Tips to avoid locking your children in the
• Wind your windows down before putting
children in the car in case the car automati-
• Never give your keys to children to play
with because they can accidentally lock the
• Try to avoid getting distracted when
you’re loading and unloading the car, and
• Have an easy way to hold on to your keys
to avoid locking you keys in your car this
This initiative is supported by Kidsafe Vic-
toria and Ambulance Victoria.
THE hot weather is expected to return soon
after a scorching Saturday when Heat Health
Alerts were issued in parts of the state.
Emergency Management Commissioner
Craig Lapsley said the hot weather has pushed
some regions into Very High Fire Danger rat-
ings, however the lack of wind meant no Total
Fire Bans were declared.
“Heat is one of the biggest impacts on our
communities,” Mr Lapsley said.
“Victorians need to ensure they take care of
themselves in hot weather, checking on loved
ones, friends and neighbours to ensure they
are coping. ”
State Health Commander Paul Holman
urged Victorians to be prepared by making
sure they were hydrated, watched their alcohol
intake and exercise exertion in the heat.
“We responded to a number of heat related
incidents,” Mr Holman said.
“I t’s important to stay hydrated and remem-
ber to never leave a child or pet in a car. ”
With the hot weather pushing people to find
refuge in cool water, Life Saving Victoria’s
CEO Nigel Taylor, urged Victorians to stay
safe around water, whether it be in a backyard
pool, inland waterway or at the beach.
“Victorians need to remember that all beach-
es and waterways can be dangerous, ” said Mr
“We are urging all Victorians to never take
their eyes of children around water, 20 sec-
onds is all it takes.
“If visiting inland waterways, it’s vital to fa-
miliarise yourself with the area and environ-
ment by speaking to locals, reading and un-
derstanding safety signs and ensuring you
know the safest place to boat or swim.
“If you’re on the water in a boat or vessel you
are required to wear a life -jacket at all times.
“Always ensure you swim at a patrolled
beach and stay aware and prepared for the
conditions. This includes water quality, beach
closures and shark sightings that are now re-
ported onto VicEmergency website and app.”
There has been an increase in shark sight-
ings in the past two weeks, after more than 30
sharks were seen off the Victorian coastline on
Fisheries Victoria Executive Director Travis
Dowling said sharks are being sited more of-
ten this year than in previous years.
“We are asking Victorians to keep up to date
with the reported shark sightings on VicEmer-
gency, and take heed of warnings, regardless
of the type of shark,” s aid Mr Dowling.
“We have seen a majority of bronze whaler
sharks, but also a few great white sharks, so
Victorians should not be complacent about the
Life Saving Victoria helicopters will continue
to patrol beaches for sharks across summer,
while beach-goers are being asked to stay fo -
cused and exercise caution when swimming.
Two Westpac Life Saving Victoria helicopters
will be supported by Firebird 300 this sum-
If the shark spotting helicopters are hovering
and sounding a siren, swimmers are urged to
evacuate the water until the shark has passed.
For emergency information, Victorians are
reminded to visit www.emergency.vic.gov.au,
download the new VicEmergency app, phone
the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226,
listen to local ABC radio, SKY news and keep
an eye on social media.
Heat health, water safety and sharks
The beach is the coolest!
THE beach was the place to be at the weekend, particularly on Saturday which was a
Lance Creek’s Tom Bird and Wonthaggi’s Gypsi Schmidt have been regular visitors to
Cape Paterson’s Bay Beach this summer. RG045216
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