Manitoba

Winnipeg mom shocked after car doors lock, trapping toddler inside

A Winnipeg mother had some scary moments this afternoon after her car automatically locked its doors, trapping her 13-month-old daughter inside.

Paula Walterson concerned after her car locked its doors while her keys were inside

The greatest increase in temperature within a closed vehicle happens in the first 30 minutes and can double in less than an hour. (CBC)

A Winnipeg mother had some scary moments this afternoon after her car automatically locked its doors, trapping her 13-month-old daughter inside.

Fire and paramedic crews rushed to St. Mary Avenue and Kennedy Avenue around 3:30 p.m. Thursday after Paula Walterson called for help.

Walterson said she had just put her daughter in the car seat and placed her keys inside a door pocket, then walked over to the driver's side door only to find it would not open.

That's when she realized her baby was locked in the back seat. Fortunately, Walterson said she had her command start remote with her, and she had the air conditioning running inside the car.

Having the air conditioning on was especially good given the hot weather in Winnipeg on Thursday. At 3 p.m., the temperature at the local airport was 32 C. With the humidex, it felt more like 38.

Still, Walterson said the 10 minutes she waited for emergency crews to arrive were terrifying. She said she thought at one point of finding a rock or something with which to break the car's windows.

"It's scary because you don't want to just leave her there and run," she said.

"I was thinking I could run in here and see if they had something I could break the window with, but ... I didn't want to leave her in the car by herself, so I thought the best thing to do was to just call 911 and wait by the car and luckily they were super-fast."

Emergency crews broke one of the car's rear windows and removed the child from the vehicle.

Walterson said her daughter was not injured, but she's upset with Ford, the manufacturer of her car, because she said the vehicle was not supposed to lock itself while the keys are inside.

Her experience comes one day after a similar incident was reported in Brandon, Man.

In Wednesday's case, a tow truck driver who rescued a baby from inside a hot car said he had tried to unlock the vehicle several times but it automatically locked itself. The baby was rescued after he smashed a window.

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