6:01 AM PDT, August 21, 2021
With keyless ignitions now in many cars, it’s easy to forget your key fob inside. Unfortunately, too many people are doing it during the heat of the summer, and the consequences can be deadly.
Video of one recent incident in Euclid, Ohio, shows a baby girl locked in a car as her mom and police officers desperately tried to get her out. The frantic mom left the keys inside by accident, and the car’s automatic locks engaged the moment she closed the door.
Cops estimated that it was 104 degrees inside the Kia.
“We’re gonna bust out this window. The baby’s been here too long,” an officer says.
They resort to a sledgehammer to get the job done, smash the window and reach into grab the 2-month-old infant, who was drenched with sweat. Cops held a chilled water bottle on her forehead.
Fortunately, the baby was checked out by paramedics and was fine.
AAA’s Robert Sinclair says modern key fobs can cause problems.
“We’re doing more and more lockout calls, as we call them — people locking themselves out of their vehicles,” Sinclair said.
His No.1 safety rule is to keep the key fob with you at all times.
“Keep it in your pocket, keep it in your purse. You can have an extra. It might be a bit over the top, but I know people who keep it on a lanyard around their neck with the extra fob. It’s always with them,” Sinclair said.
If you do lock the key fob in the car with a child inside, Sinclair says to call 911 immediately.
“Those people have the tools and equipment to get back inside the vehicle. If too much time goes by, and I’m talking about five minutes, maybe you could put a blanket or something over the vehicle to stop the heat. If it gets anywhere beyond five minutes, B-M-W — break my window, get inside, get that child out of there,” Sinclair said.
According to the National Safety Council, 25 children died in hot cars in 2020 and 2019. So far this year, 14 children have perished in overheated cars.