In any weather, at any time of the year, it’s important to remember the danger of leaving your child in the car.  

SDERA’s Smart Steps program has one simple rule to keep your family safe: never leave your child alone in a car, even for short periods.

Never leave children in the car unattended

The safest place for your child is with you. When left in a car, children are in danger of: 

  • heat stress and dehydration – even with the windows down 
  • burns from hot seat buckles 
  • playing with car controls such as power windows, cigarette lighters, and hand brakes. 

According to the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, the temperature in a parked car can rise by 30 to 40 degrees very quickly.  

In extreme cases (on very hot days), it can rise up to 70 degrees. 

Most of the temperature rise happens in the first five minutes, and it doesn’t matter whether your car is large or small, light or dark. 

Does your family spend a lot of time driving during summer?

Now may be a great time to catch up on some road safety tips! 

Take a look at SDERA’s road safety booklet for the early years, Smart Steps: A Road Safety Booklet for Parents and Carers. 

This booklet has: 

  • Key road safety messages for parents to use and share with children, such as, always hold a grown up’s hand when crossing the road 
  • Activity cards which can engage children in their road safety education. 

 SDERA: educating for smarter choices

Want to know more?


The Raising Children Network – Newborns: car safety 


If you still have questions, contact our Parenting Line