Two cases of people with a disability being left in hot cars this summer has prompted the New South Wales Ombudsman to issue a warning to carers and parents to take more precautions.
The warning comes ahead of predictions of extreme temperatures over the weekend.
“We have recently received two reports of people with disability being left unattended in vehicles that could easily have ended in tragedy,” Ombudsman Michael Barnes said in a statement.
In both matters members of the public called the police who promptly intervened.
In one case, a person with a disability was locked in a vehicle at midday for up to 50 minutes when the outside temperature was 38 degrees.
“The person needed to be transported to hospital to manage his distress and the risk to his health,” Mr Barnes said.
Car temperatures can reach 75 degrees in summer
Studies have shown that pets left in cars in hot temperatures can die within as little as six minutes.
A 2009 study done by the RACQ showed when the temperature was 32 degrees outside it could get as high as 75 degrees inside the cabin of a car in about two hours.
Most cars in the study reached a critical temperature within about eight minutes on a typical Brisbane summer day.
Mr Barnes said the was community was increasingly aware of the dangers of leaving children unattended in vehicles.
“However, it is important for people to recognise that this type of neglect can expose vulnerable adults with disability to the same risks of dehydration, heatstroke and even death,” he said.
“One of my responsibilities is to educate the community about what is required of disability service providers in their treatment of clients.”
The Ombudsman asked the public to be vigilant and take action “when necessary”.
“Call 000, or if it’s an emergency, take steps to open the vehicle,” he said.