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Paramedics’ reminder to be summer smart

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The North Central Review
The North Central Reviewhttps://ncreview.com.au/
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

Ambulance Victoria is urging the community to never leave children or elderly people in cars and take simple, preventative steps to beat the heat this summer.

Paramedics were called to more than 310 reports of people locked in cars in the past three months and a total of 1240 call outs from December 1, 2022, to November 30, 2023.

The temperature inside a vehicle can double and become deadly within minutes.

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It is particularly dangerous for children to be left inside vehicles as a child’s body temperature can rise three to five times faster than an adult.

Ambulance Victoria operational communications executive director Danielle North said people should take steps to reduce the risk and be mindful during hot weather.

“Too often our paramedics are responding throughout the summer months to a child left inside a vehicle, which is incredibly dangerous,” she said.

“Last summer we thankfully saw a drop in cases, however, in spring this year paramedics responded to more cases of people locked in cars compared to the previous spring.”

High temperatures can also increase the risk of serious heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat stroke is fatal in up to 80 per cent of cases yet entirely preventable. Most at risk are elderly people, young children and those with medical conditions.

“We don’t want complacency to set in, so we’re asking parents and carers to always take their children and elderly people with them whenever they get out of the car,” Ms North said.

“Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, wear a hat and sunscreen, and avoid being outside during the hottest time of the day, if possible.”

Heat and heat-related illnesses can affect anybody, especially if people are not prepared or have not taken preventative action.

Triple zero is for emergencies and if people are feeling unwell, they can contact the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department, visit a Priority Primary Care Centre, call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24, or see a doctor or pharmacist.

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