Did you know that according to KidsandCars.org, an average of 38 children die heat-related deaths each year after being trapped inside a vehicle?
As a parent, your days are understandably hectic. With all of the responsibilities and distractions that come with everyday life, even the best parents could discover that they’ve accidentally locked their child in the car. While most of us assume that this will never happen to us, it’s always wise to consider how to avoid a mental blunder like this, and what to do if it accidentally happens to you.
That’s why we’ve provided the following tips that will help you avoid accidentally locking your child in the car.
- Always take your kids with you.
Even if you’re making a brief stop, bring your kids with you into the store. In some states, it’s even illegal to leave your child unattended in a vehicle. Make a habit of bringing your child with you, no matter how busy you are or how short you expect the stop to be.
- Don’t leave your keys within an arm’s reach of your child.
No matter where you are, your keys need to be kept away from your child. The auto lock on your keyless entry remote allows a child to lock themselves in the car. It’s a good idea to carry a spare key with you at all times. Typically, a locksmith service can duplicate your key for less than what an auto dealership will charge. If your keys are locked in the vehicle with your child, Pop-A-Lock’s Pal Saves Kid’s program can help you get into your vehicle immediately to retrieve your child and your keys.
- Communicate with your child’s caregiver.
Stay in contact with your child’s caregiver so that the caregiver will call you if your child doesn’t show up at daycare. It’s not unheard of for parents to be in such a rush that they accidentally forget that their children are still in the car and head to work. Use a smartphone app that requires you to check-in so you will receive an alert on your phone if your child is not dropped off at daycare.
- Always check the car seat.
Every time you exit your vehicle, check the backseat for your child. Place a reminder on your dashboard, or put one of your child’s belongings, such as a toy, in the front seat to serve as a visual reminder. Or, put something you’ll need when you get out of the car -like a phone, wallet or purse – in the backseat with your child.
- Situate your child’s car seat so that they are visible to you.
Position your child’s car seat to the right or in the middle of the backseat, so it is easier to see them in your rearview mirror than if they were directly behind you.
- Limit talking on the phone.
Try to avoid talking on the phone during your drive. Carrying on a conversation, particularly one that is deep or involving, could be distracting and divert your attention from your child.
- Be careful if your daily routine changes.
The risk of accidentally leaving your child in the car increases with a change in routine. If you decide to run an errand before work or if you need to adjust your daily schedule for any reason, be sure to put your child’s new drop off time on your calendar in advance, and try to set phone reminders to alert you that they need to be taken to school or daycare. If your child will be with you all day, make a mental note to always take them with you on whatever special errands you need to run.
- Save a locksmith’s number in your phone.
Be prepared in the event the unthinkable happens and you accidentally lock your child in the car. If it’s a warm summer day or a cold winter day, and your child is in the car, take immediate action to get them out. Call 911 and attempt to break a window to gain entry into the vehicle.
However, if the weather is mild, calling 911 and breaking a window might not be necessary. Just be sure to call a locksmith or utilize Pop-A-Lock’s PAL Saves Kids program to get your child out of the vehicle immediately. Locksmiths are available 24/7 and will be able to pop the lock as soon as they arrive. Always be careful in this consideration, though, because inside of cars can heat up or cool off quickly, even if the temperature outside is mild. When in doubt, always call 911.
Pop-A-Lock is Committed to Saving Kids
Pop-A-Lock developed the PAL Saves Kids program, which rescues children in locked vehicles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Since law enforcement officers introduced the program in 1991, thousands of kids have been rescued throughout the United States at no charge to parents or caregivers. If your child is locked in your vehicle or you see someone else’s child locked in another vehicle, take advantage of this free program right away.
We hope you found these tips to be helpful, and if you need assistance with a locked vehicle, contact your local Pop-A-Lock professionals today.
Remember, always look before you lock!