By on December 23, 2015

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Australian chef Matt Moran made a video to highlight the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars during the holidays — and for the rest of their summer — by cooking lamb in the car, according to Australian newspaper The Age.

The video was produced for Kidsafe Australia, a group that highlights the dangers of leaving children in hot cars. Moran calls the car his new “unconventional oven.”

The lamb was actually overdone in the 90 minutes it baked in the sweltering heat near Bondi Beach.

Of course, we’re no stranger to the dangers of leaving children unattended in the U.S. According to KidsAndCars.Org, on average 38 children die each year after they’ve been left in hot cars.

KidSafe Australia says 5,000 children are left in hot cars every year across that country.

Although Christmas in Australia is significantly warmer than in many places in the U.S., it’s a good reminder that leaving a child in a car for any amount of time can be dangerous — regardless of season.

Related/unrelated: For cold-weather U.S. states, remember that “puffers” (or warming your car up unattended) is illegal in many places and a ripe target for car thieves. Many parents I know start their cars to warm them up for small children and get tickets, or worse — have their car stolen. Ask Santa for a remote starter this year maybe?

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16 Comments on “Down Under You Can Cook Christmas Dinner In Your Car, And That’s Not Good...”

  • avatar

    Don’t warm up your car. If you are in a Northern climate, there are plenty of ways to keep infants warm in a cold car. Companies make blanket things that attach to the infant car seat. If your kid is in a convertible car seat or older, they can be cold for a few minutes. Also, not giant puffy coats for kids in car seats.

  • avatar

    Children and Animals are the main victims of being left in a car. Drivers have had hefty fines levied ,if they leave their dog in a completely closed car

  • avatar

    Bondi is arguably the coolest place in Sydney which is one of the coolest cities in the country. I grew up in the burbs 50Km west and it can get considerably hotter than Bondi, as can the rest of the country.

    In my experience and that of family that have travelled from Canada back home with me, is that the temperature is misleading back in OZ. For whatever reason the sun feels so, so much stronger than the temperature says it should. At 25 degrees celsius you’d fry in your car and get a brutal sunburn if pasty white.

    I suspect it’s similar to the desert regions of the US.

    • 0 avatar

      The sun SHOULD feel stronger in southern hemisphere Summers. In the winter solstice, the northern hemisphere is angled away from the sun, while the southern hemisphere is angled directly at the sun. It’s also the closest the earth gets to the sun. I’ve been told that the temperature of the air and the intensity of the sun’s ultra-violet rays are two different things.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      I concurr the sun burns here badly. Worse than in the Caribbean.

      I didn’t know about the incidence angle, but we have a hole in the ozone layer right above our heads.

      In any case, learned early on: slip, slap, slop!

    • 0 avatar

      The ozone hole contributes to the high rate of skin cancer in Australia:

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It’s a shame we have people in our society that leave kids and animals in situations that can kill them. This is when it’s so simple a problem to fix.

    In Australia you need to acquire a licence to own a dog. But, yet you can have as many kids as you want. Even to own a gun in Australia you need checks carried out. To drive a vehicle you receive comprehensive training.

    But, anyone can just go out and have a kid.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Issuing a licence to have kids won’t solve the underlying problems: sheer lazyness, blissful ignorance and the “won’t happen to me” factor.

      The government is already big (and wasteful $$$) enough as it is.

      • 0 avatar

        “Won’t happen to me” is the majority. Otherwise laziness and blissful ignorance are practically non-exsistant on the baby side. On the animal side it rates higher I think.

        On the baby side of the problem distraction is the primary issue. I know 99.999999% of the people posting to the Internet are unassailable masters of concentration and observation ( anecdata based on all responses when I bring up distraction ) rivaling fictional characters such as Batman or Sherlock Holmes but the combination of rear baby seats and cell phones ( and not just your average slobbering knuckle dragger ) can trip up even fairly responsible people.

  • avatar

    >> Related/unrelated: For cold-weather U.S. states, remember that “puffers” (or warming your car up unattended) is illegal in many places and a ripe target for car thieves.

    Not a problem if you have an EV. You can even warm it up in an attached garage. Obviously works best while connected to a power source, but I’ve done it while unplugged as well. The car isn’t in run mode so it can’t be driven away. My car locks the cable into the socket, so there’s the prospect of cutting through an electrified cable and a car and a charger that will send out texts if the charge is interrupted. It’s also handy if you have to make a stop after food shopping on a hot day and want to keep the food cold.

    • 0 avatar

      What kind of heaters do EVs have in them these days? Heat pump, or resistive? How many watts? This is actually one of the biggest attractions of an EV for me. I’d love to have near instant heat when it’s -15F out. My trips are usually short, and I freeze the whole way.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t know about all, but I have seen heat pumps on EVs for heating because they consume much less power than resistance heaters. Also, some EVs concentrate heating on touch points (seat, steering wheel) instead of heating the whole interior.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      In Australia, leaving the car running unattended, or unlocked or with the keys attached (while unnatended) is an offense that carries a fine.

  • avatar

    Legally, how is a ‘puffer’ different than a car with remote start?

    • 0 avatar

      True. Many upper-trim Hondas, lots of GMs, and probably many other makes too, have factory remote-start as standard.

      And even on my 2013 Accord not so equipped, I had a duplicate “emergency key” (the one in the keyless-start fob) which goes right on my ring, and which I can use to let the car warm in order to clear snow or ice from it for a few minutes by locking the car while running with that key (as long as another fob isn’t in the car).

      Though I suppose that even the southern Australian latitudes don’t have to deal with snow, even in July or August, at the height of their winter.

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