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AA warns parents and pet owners

The AA warns parents and pet owners after 1,574 emergency lockouts

With summer temperatures rising, the Automobile Association is again reminding parents and pet owners to take greater care to avoid accidentally locking their children and animals inside their vehicles.

AA Roadservice National Manager, John Healy, says in the year to 30 November 2010, the AA attended 1,574 emergency callouts to rescue children and pets from vehicles. There were 914 involving children and 660 involving pets, on average just over 130 emergency lockouts every month.

“While these emergency lockouts are only a small fraction of the AA’s total roadside assistance calls, the high number of them is very concerning. The temperature inside a vehicle with no ventilation can rise rapidly, and it doesn’t take long before children and pets suffer the effects of heat exhaustion, with its potentially fatal consequences.”

“The AA treats any calls involving children or pets locked inside a vehicle as an emergency, and if the situation is deemed to be serious, we also notify the Fire Service in case there is a delay in our arrival. Once our Roadservice Officers arrive they can quickly gain access to most vehicles, however with the advance in vehicle technology, an increasing number of modern cars have a deadlocking system which requires us to smash a window.”

“Summer is here and the days are warmer, so it’s timely to remind parents not to get distracted. The best advice I can give is to keep hold of the car keys and never give keys to babies or young children to play with. Babies have been known to press the auto-lock button on the keys and pets too have been known to jump excitedly on the central locking button,” says Mr Healy.

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