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Children in Vehicles

 WARNING: A vehicle is not a babysitter

Never leave kids alone in a vehicle. They are not safe. They can suffer medical distress or become victims of crime.

Prevent tragedy:

  • At home: Make sure children are always properly supervised. Make sure your vehicle is locked and keey your keys and garage door openers are out of a child's reach. Don't let your children play in the car.
  • While you're out: Plan outings that fit into both you and your child's schedule.
  • Use drive-through services.
  • Wake a napping child or postpone an errand rather than leave them alone.
  • To avoid accidentally locking your keys and child in your vehicle: Look before you lock. Lock doors manually with your key instead of the fob to stay present in the moment and keep a spare key on a separate key ring in your purse or pocket for emergencies.

What can happen:

  • It only takes a child seconds to be put at risk.
  • Children can put a car in motion by moving the gear shift or by playing with the brakes.
  • Children can come under medical distress requiring immediate help.
  • Children can get out of their safety restraints, exit the car and wander off.
  • Children can roll up windows on themselves causing suffocation and even death.
  • The temperature inside a vehicle intensifies quickly, which can cause children to overheat or freeze.
  • Theft of the vehicle with children inside.
  • Abductions and crimes against children.

If you spot a child left alone in a car:

  • Call the police/911 immediately. Provide them with the location, license plate and vehicle description. If you have trouble connecting to emergency services, you can contact AMA Roadside Assistance at 1-800-222-4357.
  • Stay with the children until help arrives, and assist them if possible.
  • Ask for help from passers-by to canvas nearby businesses to find the driver. If you find the parent, please do not scold the parent - just stay focused on working together to get the child our of the vehicle.
  • Don't let fear or lack of time prevent you from reporting unattended children. You may be saving their lives.

EPS and Child and Family Services take these matters seriously and consequences may include:

  • Investigation by EPS and Child and Family Services
  • Potential charges under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act or the Criminal Code.
  • Sentences can range from probation to jail.

It only takes seconds for children to become victims of crime. If you're not with your children, you can't protect them. Don't let a moment of convenience become a lifetime of regret.