As parents, we naturally stress about the most unlikely scenarios. This is something I worry about all of the time. When you have young lives to care for, you have to cover all the bases, which is why you probably have a backup plan for everything from getting lost on the way to the grocery store to getting locked out of the house with our kids in tow. But, one fear that’s almost too bad for even us parents to consider is that of getting locked out when our kids are still inside.

Unfortunately, whether the door slams shut when you’re putting the rubbish out, or you simply forget to put the latch on, this scenario becomes a reality for a surprising amount of parents. And, while there’s nothing wrong with that if your kids are old enough to simply open the door for you, it’s definitely not good news if you have babies or toddlers at home. 

As well as being unable to reach the door handle, these younger kids will have no real concept of what’s happening. That can be distressing for them as well as you, and it’s an issue you can avoid even if the worst happens with the following essential steps. 

Step 1: Stay Calm

Your kids are inside. You’re outside. It’s only natural that you’ll want to run around in a mad panic. In reality, though, the more stressed you are about this situation, the less likely you’ll be able to handle it as efficiently as the moment requires. Not to mention that your kids will grow upset or concerned if they see you getting worked up about this. So first thing’s first – take a deep breath and compose yourself. Try to think practically about the steps ahead of you, and know that you will get back into the house, and your kids will be fine. You just need to make sure of it with a logical head. 

Step 2: Keep Your Kids in Sight

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Not being in the house with your kids is far from ideal. Just think of all of the things they could get up to without your guidance! Luckily, you should find that your kids naturally gravitate towards the door or window when they realise you’re outside. Seeing mummy outside is strange, after all, and it’s probably quite interesting when you’re that age. Knock on the closest visible window, and encourage your kids (if they’re walking) to stay around it. Obviously, you might need to run to the neighbour’s house to use their phone, but other than that, stay near that window and do whatever you can to entertain the children while you work out a solution. That way, you’ll be able to see what they’re doing and, importantly, you’ll keep them away from any mischief elsewhere in the house. 

Step 3: Find the Fastest Solution

Even with your kids in sight, you must find a fast solution to this situation. Perhaps the fastest thing you can do is to think about whether the back door is unlocked, or if any open windows could serve as entry points. If yes, ask a kindly neighbour to keep eyes on your kids while you test things out. Equally, if you have a partner or family member who has a spare key, contact them immediately to see if they can come and let you in. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to contact an emergency locksmith, and let them know that there are children in the house when you do so. They’ll then treat you as a priority and will be able to get you back into your property in no time. 

Step 4: Learn Your Lesson

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Parents are only human, and we all make mistakes. You aren’t the only parent to lock themselves out without their kids, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. Still, it’s vital that you learn from this mistake, and take steps to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Luckily, there are a few different options here, and the best of them is to simply install a key safe box somewhere around your property, and keep a key in there at all times. You may also feel safer leaving at least two keys with different neighbours, meaning that you’ll have a variety of options that ensure you’re never left out in the cold without your kids again. 

Sometimes, our parenting anxieties never come to fruition. Sometimes they do. Make sure this anxiety of being locked out doesn’t get the best of you either way by keeping this four-step plan in mind. 

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