Toddler running away

Courtney - posted on 03/27/2016 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Today I had the biggest scare of my life. Early this morning my toddler son who is 3, woke up and snuck out of the house without making a noise or coming to wake me or his father. I woke up around 7:15 to find him missing. Frantic I started to search every where. I live in an apt complex and we are not supposed to add locks to the door. Finally around 7:25 I saw cops at the store across the highway from my apartment complex. I went there to find they had him. Turns out about 15 mins earlier a couple saw him playing at the school next door to the apartments and picked him up and called the cops. This is the first time anything like this has ever happened. I feel like he will try it again so I went and added a chain lock to the very top of our front door. Idk where this came from and he doesn't seem to understand that what he did was wrong. I feel like an awful parent but idk how to make him understand that he can't do that. Has anyone ever been in a situation similar to this? Hes never snuck out and ran away before. All I can think about is all the horrible things that could happen. Please don't judge me. I'm not actually a bad parent but this came out of nowhere and now idk how to make him understand that is very bad and that he should never do it again

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Courtney - posted on 03/28/2016

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Update: I bought a double deadbolt lock as well today. I didn't not tell the apartment management. They probably won't notice any way. But if they do I'll will be sure to tell them that it's a safety issue for my toddler if I do not. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has been here. Makes me feel a little less like a horrible mother

Sarah - posted on 03/28/2016

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I had a incident like this as well. My 2 yo toddled away and was nearly run over by someone backing a car out of the driveway. I think the worst part is the "what if" that you play over and over in your head. What if I had not seen him, what if the driver had pulled out more quickly. You are certainly lucky that nothing bad happened to him, but you are in good company. You did the right thing by adding a lock he cannot reach.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/28/2016

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You are most definitely NOT a bad parent!

If someone tells you "my kid never ran off", then most likely they are embarrassed to admit that they DID!

Mine did at about the same age. Yep, total panic! We lived in a fairly small town at the time, and the neighbors knew him, so they returned him...

So, in a nutshell, it's OK, mom! He's safe now, you're going to speak with your management about kid proofing, so congratulate yourself on getting through another really scary day

MaryAnn - posted on 03/28/2016

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I would definitely talk to the superintendent about what happened- I cant see why they wouldn't allow you a chain lock.
Yup. I've definitely had this happen- and it felt totally aweful.

Raye - posted on 03/28/2016

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What kind of apartment complex won't allow locks on the door? All apartments I have lived in have either had a chain, a door knob lock that is keyed from both sides or a deadbolt that is keyed the same as the outside lock in the knob (with the turny thing on the inside). Seems to be a dire safety issue with that complex. Not just with toddlers escaping, but a burglary concern as well.

Courtney - posted on 03/27/2016

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I really just wish I had thought of the chain thing before. Just caught off guard and then I was terrified. I sleep with my door open and everything. He didn't make a peep. He will be 4 the end of July. He loves to be outside. I feel like I should have been prepared for him to try to take off outside. I'm thankful everything is ok. I'll be sure that this never happens again.

Jodi - posted on 03/27/2016

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Of course he doesn't understand what he did wrong. He's 3. He had access to the door so he used it. He can't possibly understand the dangers of the world. Yes, I have had this happen - and the day my daughter discovered she could open the door, I put a chain on the door that was too high for her to reach, just as you have. But trying to make them understand at this age is almost impossible. By the time he is able to reach the chain, he will understand. The best you can do is make sure they don't have the ability to get out of your house. Check every other access that you have and make sure they can't use it without your help.

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