What to Do If You Lock Your Child in the Car

Locking your child in the car can be a frightening experience, and it's important to know how to handle the situation. If you ever slam the door and realise your child and your keys are inside, here's what you need to do.

1. Consider the Temperature

The temperature is hugely important in this situation. If it's a cool day, you have time on your side, and you don't have to worry about the potential health risks to your child. However, if it's the middle of the summer, the temperatures in the car will rise quickly, and you need to respond with that in mind.

The inside of a car can get to 20 or 30 degrees over the regular temperature, and 75% of the increase takes place in the first 5 minutes. If it's a hot summer day and it's 26 C outside, the temperature inside your car could get to between 41 and 48.5 C within five minutes. Those are dangerous levels.

2. Call Emergency Services

If it's hot outside, your child's health could be in danger. Relatively quickly the rising temperatures could lead to heat stroke. In these cases, there is no time to waste. Call 000 to reach emergency services immediately.

They will dispatch police or firefighters to help you get into your car. Even if you get your child out of the car before they arrive, it's important to call them. If your child has heat stroke, he or she will need immediate treatment.

3. Contact a Mobile Locksmith

Your second call should be to a mobile locksmith. If they arrive before the emergency services professionals, they can help you get into your car. As trained professionals, they know exactly which techniques to use so that your locks don't get damaged.

4. Know How to Break the Window

In some situations, help may not arrive soon enough. In those cases, you need to break the window. Although it may seem counterintuitive, you can't break car windows by bludgeoning them. Instead, you need to hit them with something relatively small like the end of a screw driver.

Choose the window furthest from the child, and hit the outside edge of it. The glass tends to be the thinnest there.

Everyone locks their keys in their cars once in awhile. However, there are conscious steps you can take to minimise the risk. Create a routine where you always pull the keys from the ignition and put them in your pocket after parking. Make a habit of patting your pocket to check for the keys before you close the car.