Local parents are being warned not to leave their children in cars this summer as new statistics reveal the top postcodes for ambulance call outs to help kids stuck in vehicles.

Concerning new data shows Ambulance Victoria responded to 1,696 callouts across Victoria in the year to August, with the vast majority being cases involving toddlers and babies. This included 19 callouts to the Epping area and 9 callouts to Lalor.

A new Andrews Government campaign, which features AFL legend Matthew Richardson, aims to make people aware of the potential dangers and will see advertisements run on television, radio and social media.

Mr Richardson, who became a dad to baby Zoey in September, joined Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos at Northland Shopping Centre in Preston to officially launch the campaign.

The Andrews Government is working with Kidsafe and Ambulance Victoria to increase awareness and remind parents just how easy it is to underestimate the time it can take to run a quick errand.

On average, four kids a day are being put at risk of serious heat-related injury or death by being left unattended in parked cars.

A car’s temperature can more than double within minutes, meaning on a typical summer day the temperature inside a parked car can quickly become 20-30 degrees hotter than outside. Kids’ body temperatures rise three to five times faster than an adult’s, meaning they are at greater risk of life-threatening heatstroke, dehydration and organ damage when left in the car.

The Andrews Government’s Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign includes radio and online advertising, as well as billboards around shopping centres and social media messages.

In Victoria, it is against the law to leave children unattended, with offenders facing fines of up to $3900 or jail for six months, or both.

Find out more about surviving the heat this summer: