Child safety locks on car doors were invented with the safest intentions; to keep our children from accidentally opening the back door and possibly falling out of the car. As we have learned from recent news, not all people have those same good intentions and child safety locks can be used to harm instead of help. Do you know where to find the car safety lock in your car and in other cars as well?
All vehicles are different, so refer to your particular vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine how to turn on or off your child door locks. In many cars, there is a lever to engage the lock feature, which can be found on the side of the door (the area of the door you cannot see when the door is closed). The car door child safety locks are usually easy to engage just by flipping the lever up. Many cars have this switch or lever on the doorframe accompanied by a diagram showing which way to flip the switch to activate the safety locks.
Some vehicles may have a recessed button with a small notch cut into it. In this case, use a car key, a flathead screwdriver or even a dime to insert into the notch, then turn it to engage the safety lock.
Newer cars have an easy push-button feature located on the driver side door panel control to easily lock and unlock the child locks, but the mechanism on the back door is the same.
If you keep your car door child safety locks are on, please be sure to teach your child how they can get out of the vehicle if they ever become trapped inside by:
- using the front doors to get out (which do not have child locks)
- honking the horn (FYI… not all horns honk if the vehicle is turned off)
- turning on the hazard lights
- making sure they can be seen by passersby
Children should also be taught that it is never safe to be inside a vehicle without an adult.