A Queensland mother has taken to Facebook to warn other parents after her baby became trapped in her car when it self-locked.
Mum of eight-month-old twins Chloe Stewart relived the distressing ordeal in a post beginning, "Friends and family, I wanted to share with you what happened with our 2017 Nissan Pathfinder last week in the hope that you can help me to spread the warning."
Stewart had taken her twins to see her local GP as one of two babies, Joseph, was running a fever. She'd returned to the car and put Joseph in his capsule in the back seat when the nightmare began.
"On returning to our car (parked in an uncovered car park in the sun), I did as I always do with the twins and placed my purse containing the vehicle's smart key on the front seat and closed the door," she said.
"I then opened the rear drivers-side door and secured Joseph into his capsule and closed that door. As I walked around to the other side of the car to put Audrey in, the car locked itself with Joseph trapped inside."
"As you can imagine… I panicked," she wrote.
RACQ, a road assistance service, was called but they could not confirm how long it would take to get there so Stewart tried her local Nissan dealer who recommended calling emergency services.
"We called 000 and police were dispatched."
In the meantime, a passing tradie gave Stewart's wife, Nic, a hammer to try and smash open a window but she was unable to break the window or pry open the window or door.
"At this stage, I was in tears and feeling helpless as Joseph was clearly getting more distressed with each passing second," Stewart shared.
After 15 minutes the police arrived and smashed open a window with a sledgehammer, freeing Joseph from the car.
"I held Joseph against my chest to comfort him (and let's be honest… myself too) whilst one of the police man poured water onto his head in an attempt to cool him down," Stewart wrote.
"We feel incredibly lucky that he was otherwise unharmed by the ordeal."
Stewart revealed that she and wife Nic had purchased the car specifically for its advertised "Lockout Protection".
"Nissan promotes that this feature ensures the car cannot self-lock with the smart key inside. This was amazing, this took away the concern I had around juggling everything when it was time to load the twins into the car," she wrote.
She said that Nissan was replacing the faulty lock but not covering the cost of damage to the car incurred in trying to free Joseph - however, she said she would never trust the car's lockout prevention system again.
"We were the lucky ones - Joseph is still with us and unharmed. I fear that If the day had been slightly hotter, we didn't have onlookers who offered assistance, or perhaps the police didn't get there in time – this would have been a very different post.
With temperatures set to soar in Australia and New Zealand in the coming days, Stewart said she hoped her story would act as a warning to other parents who owned cars fitted with lockout prevention systems.
"I couldn't live with myself if I sat back and said nothing."
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