Don’t let a moment of convenience become a lifetime of regret. It only takes a few seconds for a child to be put at risk when left unattended in a vehicle. The risks to your child range from medical emergencies to becoming a victim of crime.
We have all heard media stories about parents who have left small children in their unattended vehicles, and the tragic results will remain with those parents for the rest of their lives. We need to take note, even if the results aren’t tragic, leaving a child in an unattended vehicle could result in an involvement with the Children’s Aid Society and/or potential provincial or criminal charges.
What could happen when you leave your vehicle unattended?
- Unattended children can accidently put a car in motion
- A child may experience a medical emergency (i.e.: choking, overheating or freezing)
- Some children can remove their safety restraints and exit the vehicle, wandering off
- Children may adjust the windows, possibly resulting in suffocation or death
- Your vehicle may be stolen with your child in it
- Your child may be abducted
What you can do:
- Never leave you child unattended in a vehicle
- Never underestimate the mindset and dexterity of a child
- Do not lock your child and keys in the vehicle
- Keep your keys in your possession and away from your children
- Ensure your vehicle is not left running and unlocked (which could also result in a City of London Bylaw fine of $90)
- Plan your outings to fit both you and your child’s schedule
- Use drive through services when possible
- Wake your child rather than leave them unattended
If you find a child unattended in a vehicle:
- Call 911 and provide them with the location, description of the vehicle and the license plate number.
- Stay with the child until help arrives, the time you spend with this child could be the difference between life and death.
- Request assistance from others to attempt to locate the vehicle owner.