More than 1000 calls for children left unattended in cars every year are answered by emergency services and roadside assistance in Victoria, Kidsafe Victoria says.

The charity has issued a red alert before summer, launching its annual campaign, Do Not Leave Children Unattended in Cars.

“The temperature inside a parked car can be 20-30 degrees warmer than the outside temperature,” Kidsafe Victoria general manager Jason Chambers said on Friday.”This means that on a typical Australian summer day, the temperature can reach over 50 to 60 degrees in a matter of minutes.”

Mr Chambers warned children lose fluid quickly, become dehydrated and suffer from heatstroke, which can be life-threatening.

It is an offence in Victoria to leave a child unattended “for any longer than is reasonable without making appropriate arrangements for the child’s supervision and care”.

The penalties for leaving a child unattended in a car in Victoria include fines of more than $4000 and a maximum of six months imprisonment.

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