Look before you lock


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The temperature inside a parked vehicle on a typical Australian summer day can be up to 30 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.​​

In as little as 5 minutes, the temperature in a vehicle can reach dangerous levels.

A child's body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult's and the impact of heat on a child's body is almost immediate and can be fatal.

A child left unaccounted for in a vehicle is also unprotected and vulnerable to danger, particularly in an emergency situation.

It only takes one shortcut on safety to have devastating, lifelong consequences.

Tips for families​


Create a Look Before You Lock routine.

Building simple steps into your daily routine can help you to avoid unintentionally leaving a child in a vehicle.

  • Place an item you will need at your destination in the back seat of the car, such as your bag or wallet.
  • Attach a mirror for rear-facing car seats so you can easily see your child.
  • Create a mental checklist to run through every time you leave the car, such as 'baby, keys, bag'.
  • Get in the habit of checking your backseat every time you get out of the car. Check even if you know your child is not with you. This will help make looking before you lock part of your normal routine.
  • Look Before You Lock. Every. Single. Time.

Discuss your Look Before You Lock routine with every person who drives your child. This includes partners, grandparents, babysitters and friends.

Be extra alert if your routine changes to avoid unintentionally leaving your child in your vehicle.

Importantly, if you accidentally lock your child in a car, or you come across a child left unattended in a vehicle:

  1. Keep calm.
  2. Think clearly and act quickly.
  3. Call your roadside assistance provider if you have one.
  4. Call 000 immediately if you have any concerns about the child's health.

Guidance for services transporting children

Every day, families across Queensland rely on early childhood services and transport operators to transport their children safely.

Services that transport children must be vigilant of the dangers of leaving children in vehicles and have strategies in place to manage the risks and protect children in their care.

Training and policies and procedures regarding transporting children should be reviewed regularly. Routine safety practices, such as ensuring records are up-to-date, roll checks, head counts and physical vehicle inspections, should be undertaken consistently and without exception.

Resources and communication materials for services

Resources and communication materials are available to promote the importance of the Look Before You Lock message.

Services can also order stickers and resources to be mailed out.

YouTube videos

Translated postcard

Postcard for services to print and share this important message with parents translated into the following languages:

Look before you lock - every single time - it's a life saving routine - Queensland Government - children being placed into cars by adults

Last updated 28 February 2024