Parents do everything they can think of to protect their children. They watch out for things that could be harmful to their child and do everything they can to baby proof the home that the child lives in. Not all parents think of the potential danger that their own parked car could hold.

Most parents think that it would be a pretty rare incident to accidentally lock your child in a car, but it happens more often than people think. If you are ever in the situation where your child is accidentally locked in a car, don’t panic, just do these things to get your child out safely.

1. Call 911 for help.

Police and fire personnel will be immediately dispatched to your location. If you have also locked your phone in the car, quickly find someone nearby who will let you borrow their phone to call for help. This needs to be treated like a serious emergency. Especially in the heat of summer, a car can reach extremely dangerous temperatures in a matter of minutes.

2. Call an emergency locksmith.

An emergency locksmith will be on-call and will drop everything to get to you. Many times they arrive before the police and fire department do, and are typically able to unlock the vehicle in less than a couple of minutes.

3. Block the sunlight.

If you have access to blankets or towels, either in your house or borrowed from anyone that is nearby, try and cover any windows that allow direct sunlight into the vehicle. Block as much sunlight from getting into the car to help keep the car as cool as possible.

4. Remain calm.

Although it is difficult, do not panic. It could cloud your judgment and you may have a difficult time making decisions. It is also best if your child stays calm so this situation does not turn into a traumatic experience for them. If they see that you are calm, they are more likely to remain calm themselves.

5. Take note of the time.

This is information that the police, fire department or locksmith may want to know. It will also tell you how long your child has been in the car and will give you a good idea as to if and when you should break the window.

6. Give yourself a break.

Many parents will beat themselves up over what happened and begin to have second thoughts about their skills as a parent. This is something that happens more often than you may think and has nothing to do with your parenting skills. Give your child a big hug and learn from the situation.