On the 21st of February 2015 at approximately 5 am City Police were called to the west end of the city after a citizen noticed a small child walking on the road. The small child had pajamas on and was not wearing shoes or a jacket. Officers noted that the temperature was -17C.
Officers followed the child’s footprints approximately three blocks and found the door of a residence wide open. The child had been sleeping over at family members and no one in the house was aware the child had left. The door had been locked but the child had been able to reach the deadbolt and unlock and open the door.
No charges will be laid in this incident.
Even though this occurrence has a happy ending the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service would like remind the public that circumstance like this do happen. This is not the first time that our officers have responded to calls of small children outside wandering around unattended. However, with the recent trend of very cold weather and wind chills, the dangers run even higher of a tragedy happening.
But there are some things that parents and caregivers can do to prevent incidents like this occurring:
-consider using a baby monitor and make sure that the volume is turned to it’s loudest. A young child who wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings may very well get up and wander around looking for their parent
-if you have a house alarm, activate it at night so if the door is opened the alarm will trigger
-consider installing childproof locks on doors
-consider installing a child’s gate on the bedroom door that the child is sleeping in
-consider installing a motion sensor alarm that will alarm if the child wanders down the hall outside of the bedroom
-consider installing a wireless door alarm that will chime if the door is opened.
There are many devices available that do not cost a lot of money. A few simple steps and some planning can prevent a tragedy from happening.