Accidentally locking a child in the car is a stressful and scary experience for any parent. Moving child seats to the back was good for airbag safety, but it had one unfortunate consequence: the number of kids getting accidentally locked in or left behind skyrocketed. Through our free emergency door unlock program in Tampa, Pop-A-Lock has rescued thousands of children who were accidentally locked in. From talking to their parents, we know just how easy it is to do. Being stressed, distracted, or just changing your usual routine can be all it takes.
Since November is Child Safety and Protection Month, we thought we’d offer our top tips to avoid accidentally locking a child in the car. Because — let’s face it — that panicked phone call to Pop-A-Lock is one you hope you’ll never have to make.
- Take your kids with you, even if you’re only going to be out for a few minutes. It’s not just a smart idea: Florida has an unattended child law that makes it mandatory. Being in the habit of taking your kids with you every time you get out of the car will help you remember to do so even on busy days.
- Don’t leave keys within reach of your children, whether at home or out and about. Auto lock buttons make it extremely easy for kids to lock themselves in the car.
- Keep a spare set of keys with you. Don’t keep them on the same key ring as your main set! Spare keys are a good idea for so many reasons. (P.S. Pop-A-Lock can duplicate most car keys for much less than your dealer.)
- Communicate with your child’s other caretakers. The most dangerous lock-ins occur when a child is forgotten in the backseat for long periods of time, such as a full work day. Often, one parent assumes the other has dropped the child off at daycare. Ask your daycare or preschool to call you any time your child is absent.
- Make sure your car trunk has a release mechanism on the inside. Older kids who are playing around your car might shut themselves in the trunk and be unable to get out.
- Teach your kids that the car is not a safe place to play. Unattended cars and kids are a dangerous combination.
- Have a plan to check the car seat every time you leave the car. Some people put an important item like a wallet or phone on the floor in front of the car seat so they have to look every time they leave the car. Others have signs on the dashboard. Never assume that you’re incapable of forgetting.
- Program Pop-A-Lock’s number into your phone now. Even with good precautions, accidents happen. Pop-A-Lock locksmiths around the country provide free, fast emergency door unlocks that save lives. Call 813-226-0423 if you need an emergency locksmith in Tampa. We work with first responders and emergency services to get there fast, work effectively, and rescue your child. And we’re open 24/7.