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Saturday 14 December 2019

AA rescues children in locked cars 'every day'

Babies innocently given keys can lock themselves in a car
Babies innocently given keys can lock themselves in a car

More than one child a day on average is accidentally locked inside their parents' car, AA Ireland has revealed.

A total of 460 children had to be rescued from locked cars last year.

The AA also went to the rescue of 359 dogs and even a lamb.

The breakdown assistance provider was called out to five cases where a customer's partner was unable to get out of a parked car.

"I think there are few things more worrying than accidentally locking one of your children into your car, but it's something that can happen more easily than you think," said Conor Faughnan, the AA's director of consumer affairs.

Panic

"Quite often these cases start off with a parent innocently giving a baby or child their keys to play with while they pack some shopping into the boot.

"The parent then closes the boot, the child presses a button on the fob and panic ensues.

"The good news is that we're used to dealing with incidents like these and will always give priority to a case where a child or animal is locked in a car.

"While people locking their spouse into the car doesn't happen that often, it's something our patrols still see.

"It's embarrassing for any-one, but it has a funny side, unless it causes rows after we leave," he said.

Despite advances in technology, AA Rescue still attended 2,038 cases of keys being locked inside cars last year, with many happening between May and September.

It represents a slight decrease on 2017, when mechanics dealt with more than 2,300 such cases.

"Modern cars make it more difficult to accidentally lock the keys inside, but it's still something we are seeing on a regular basis," said Mr Faughnan.

"On average, we deal with keys being locked into the car six times a day. Despite our reassurances, everyone who finds themselves in this situation feels they're the first person to have ever done it."

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