Paramedics in Wyndham rescued children or elderly people from locked cars at a rate of almost one per week over the last 12 months, making the municipality the worst in the state for the dangerous issue.
Hoppers Crossing topped the list with 21 incidents in the 12 months to the end of November, three more than Narre Warren in second place.
Werribee came in third with 15, with Point Cook in ninth spot with 13 car lock-ins.
The shocking numbers have prompted a warning from local Ambulance Victoria manager Duncan Erwin.
“Take them out of the car, do not leave them in the car,” Mr Erwin said.
“It’s hard to say how long (serious injury) takes because everyone will be different, but our advice is do not leave anyone in a hot car.”
Across the state AV has responded to more than 1200 incidents of children left in cars on hot days since December 2022.
The temperature inside a locked vehicle can double within minutes and children are especially vulnerable because their body temperature rises up to five times faster than an adult’s.
AV Barwon South West issued a plea for people living in or visiting the region to also be aware of other heat-related problems including heat cramps, exhaustion and stroke.
Heat stroke is particularly dangerous because it is fatal in up to 80 per cent of cases.
Anyone can be susceptible to heat stroke if they do not take steps to protect themselves, but children and the elderly are at the highest risk.
Paramedics said there are several actions that can be taken to avoid heat-related illness:
- Keep a full drink bottle with you and stay hydrated
- Wear a hat and sunscreen whenever you’re outside
- Avoid being outdoors in the hottest part of the day
- Stay near a fan or air conditioner whenever possible
- Never swim alone, make sure you know the conditions before entering the water, be aware of your own limits and never leave children unsupervised near water, even for a second.
Anyone who believes they have been affected by heat should call the triple-zero (000) hotline immediately.
There are a number of alternatives in non-emergency situations, including the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department, visit a Priority Primary Care Centre, NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 or see your doctor or local pharmacy.
Top ten suburbs for children and elderly people locked in hot cars: