I Locked My Child In the Car, What Do I Do Now?
In case of emergency:
- Call 911
- Block any sunlight you can from getting in the car
- Keep track of time so you know how long the child has been in the car
- Look out for signs of heatstroke – bright red or flushed cheeks, confusion or lethargy, and sometimes vomiting
- Contact an emergency locksmith
As a parent, you do your best to keep your child safe. You anticipate dangers, securing your home and vehicle. Despite these efforts, accidents do happen, even with the most responsible of parents. If you accidentally lock your child in the car, take comfort knowing that Pop-a-Lock offers a free service to rescue your child. Even if the temperature outside is a pleasant 70 degrees, the temperature inside a closed vehicle can rise to 89 degrees in a matter of minutes. To save your child, don’t panic but act quickly and take the following steps:
A child left in a hot car is an emergency. Especially in the summer, you need to take action right away. Call 911 immediately and calmly explain your situation to the dispatcher. Emergency services will send police and firefighters to help get your child out of the vehicle.
To keep the car as cool as possible, do anything you can to block sunlight from entering your vehicle. Use nearby resources such as blankets or towels to create some shade for your child as you wait for emergency services.
Keep Track of Time:
Depending on the temperature outdoors, vehicles can reach temperatures upward of 100 degrees within ten minutes. Time is of the essence, so if emergency services fail to show up promptly, then you may need to break your window to save your child.
Know the Signs of Heatstroke:
According to the nonprofit organization, Kids And Cars, about 900 children locked in cars have died of heatstroke since 1990. A child with heatstroke typically has bright red or flushed cheeks, displays confusion or lethargy, and even begins vomiting. Heatstroke also limits the body’s ability to sweat and can either cause the pulse to weaken or speed up abnormally.
Go Easy on Yourself:
Many parents and caregivers feel distraught and guilty for accidentally locking their child in the car. As long as you are able to take action to get them out immediately, the next step is to make a plan for the future. The following tips can help you avoid the same accidents moving forward:
- Keep a reminder of your child (toy, blanket, etc.) in the front seat next to you.
- Keep your briefcase or purse in the backseat near your child.
- Limit distractions and stay off of your phone while driving.
If you notice any other child unattended in a vehicle, call 9-1-1 and an emergency locksmith immediately.
Contact an Emergency Locksmith:
The Pop-a-Lock emergency locksmiths are here to help parents rescue children who’ve been accidentally locked in cars as quickly as possible. Through the PAL Saves Kids program, Pop-a-Lock offers these vital rescue services 100% free of charge, and has rescued thousands of children across the United States. The PAL Saves Kids program helps families and provides educational resources to parents and is always available if the unthinkable happens and your child becomes locked in your car. Don’t despair, and don’t wait to take action. Call Pop-A-Lock for help right away!