Toddlers running away/escaping

Amanda - posted on 02/19/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )




Please don't judge me. I feel beyond horrible, but I think it will help me for other moms to share their horror stories. Or maybe I just need to share so I can stop dwelling on it.

Earlier tonight I was sitting in the living room on the computer. My 16 month old son was chasing the dog around. I realized that I hadn't heard them for a brief time, but saw the bedroom door open. I got up to go check on them and realized the front door was open! I was in a panic! I ran outside calling his name and the dog's name, but nothing. I had to run back in to slip shoes on because I couldn't walk on the rocks. The whole time I am screaming for him. I look around back and they are not there! I stupidly didn't grab my phone the first time I came in (wishful thinking maybe), so I ran back in the house and called 9-1-1. Just as I was talking to the operator, I saw him and the dog running back down the street. (They weren't there just a minute or two before!) I told the 9-1-1 operator I found him, rushed over, swept him into my arms, chatted with him, tracked down the dog and brought them both home. As soon as I walked in the door, I was weeping! I called my husband and told him. He was just happy to hear that everyone was safe. Obviously, I did not know that the door was not 100% closed, yet I feel so stupid! So many, many horrible things could have happened to him. Luckily, he is back home and in bed right now. I thank God that everything is okay, but I am still shaking-this probably only happened three hours ago.

If anyone would like to share their own story or whatever that would be great. However, I would appreciate if I didn't have to hear what a horrible mother I am! Thank you!


Adrienne - posted on 03/24/2012




This just made me feel soo much better! Today a couple of hours ago I was in the bedroom playing a game with my 3 yr old daughter and my 2 yr old son (i thought) was watching his movie wall-e in the living room. When i went to go check in on the little guy he was GONE and the front door was open! We live in an upstairs apartment in a not great area (in Austin, TX) I ran outside looking and yelling for him and asking people, not finding him near our building. i ask a kid riding a bike and he said he saw a little boy with no shirt so i told him to take me so we take off and we find him like 2 building away with a couple of adults and kids. THANK GOD HE WAS OK. he had apparently followed a car thinking it was his dad (who was at work). i shutter to think what could have happened. especially since this isn't a small town or anything. i ended up getting him home and 5 minutes later having a cop knock on my door and have to explain. it was horrifying and embarrassing. i cried for an hour after. just thinking of what could have happened makes me tear up.

for the record not only was the door dead-bolted but it also had a chain on it! he got one of his play chairs and was able to push the chain over...i dont know HOW i didnt hear him. now i moved a big chair from the living room in front of the door so there is no way either one can get out! im thinking of getting some other even higher lock.

im still in shock and terrified about what could have happened. this little guy is definitely challenging me since my girl never did anything like this!

Kim - posted on 04/07/2011




My 4 year old used to escape the house all the time. I even installed chains at the top of the door so he couldn't escape and he still manage to get out of the house. The one day I found him butt naked holding playdoh at the neighborhood park and another day I found him naked across the street behind our house trying to play with a little girl. Some kids are just escape artists. Make sure to lock your door or get a chain for the top of the door if he can reach the lock.

Angie - posted on 02/22/2011




Our son thought at age 3 it was ok to go outside to play alone. We ended up having to put a loud bell on the door, so even if he figured out the locks, we would be able to hear the door whenever it opened. Worked like a charm.

Nikki - posted on 02/19/2011




Don't feel stupid, these things happen no matter how careful we are at times. At least he was ok and I am sure that from now on you will be double checking the door. They are deceivingly fast for their size.

I was at my mums house about a month ago and they have an internal sliding door into their double garage. My dad had been working in the garage therefore had the double door up. When he has the garage open we always put a door stop in the internal door so my daughter can't get through. This particular day I was in the kitchen I turned and she wasn't there, I didn't stress because I thought she had wandered into my mums room to play. (the house is child proof) A few minutes later I went to check on her and I saw the internal door open, my heart dropped to my stomach because the garage is about 3 metres away from a busy road. I ran into the garage bursting into tears and THANKFULLY she was playing in the garage with the dog. I have never been so scared it was awful, I am so glad the dog was there because I think if she hadn't been she would have wandered outside.

My brother had left the door open without thinking, I don't think that he will ever do it again after my hysterical screaming fit! and I am a lot less complacent when we are at my mums now. It's an awful experience but it doesn't make you a bad mum by any means.

I hope your feeling better now :)

Jessica - posted on 02/21/2011




My daughter is nearly two and she is one of those kids that will run away and never look back unless she sees you and in that case runs faster!! i have lost her in Target a few times and it scared me sooo much!! i now have a system in place with her where if i cant see her i call out and say "Bella say mummy" and she says "mummy" until we marco polo back and forth till i find her!! Everyone loses their kid at one stage or another they are quick and sneaky! Bella tests my limits everyday and it is a constant battle to get her to not let go and run straight onto the road or anywhere she thinks is more interesting! and with an attention span that last 5 seconds she is very quick to move from one thing to the next!

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Its happened at some point to us all.Whether or not we like to admit it.
It knocks us for six.

The main thing is you learn from these moments.We need to all be grateful we can learn from them and that we have our children back, safe and sound.
I would lock the front door.My daughter 2 and half at the time, i was not expecting her to be able to unlock the door.Off she went.
My second daughter whos 2 now is the same.The key has to be taken out and put up.Or i keep it on me.Don't beat your self up over it.Let it go and im sure its a lesson learn't.As i said we have been there and felt the same.

Krista - posted on 04/07/2011




My son and I were in our driveway, on our wooded lot, getting ready to get in the car and go for a drive. He was next to me holding my hand, and i had to let go of his hand for a second to adjust something in his car seat before putting him in. In the 5 seconds that my hands and eyes were away from him, he disappeared. I looked back, saw he wasn't there, and just got this awful, sick panic. I called his name, ran around to the front of my jeep, looked in the yard, and finally saw him -- he was investigating the taillight on the rear driver's side of the jeep. So he wasn't far, thank heavens, and was only "missing" for about 15 seconds, but those 15 seconds felt AWFUL, because on our property, we have woods on one side and a river on the other side, and I was terrified that he would run into one while I was looking for him in the other direction.

Elise - posted on 04/07/2011




It happens to all of us at one time or another. When I was pregnant with my son, my daughter (nearly 2 at the time) and I where in a newsagency in the main street in our town. I had hold of her hand but had to let go to pay. Next thing I know she is one step away from being run over by a car on the road 5 meters away. I dont think I've moved so fast in my life! Pregnant or not. Another story is from when I was 18 months old. My parents owned a corner store and a customer came in one day and asked my mum, "Is that your little girl on the roof?". They go rushing out to find that I had climbed a ladder my dad had left out and was sitting with my legs over the gutter.

Jody - posted on 02/24/2011




Some mothers have children who are too timid to attempt to go out an open door! I completely understand how a child can slip through a door. My 3 year old grandson went through the same thing at that age, and now, runs any time we want to catch him, to go to time out, and any other reasons and with warmer weather approaching and the storm door open, he will probably try it again this year. I almost dread the start of the spring/summer season, but want to try to teach him not to run out. It scares me because I am disabled and can't run after him quickly should he run to the street. At the same time, am looking forward to him riding his bike on the sidewalk as I walk beside him. This child seems to be driven by such curiosity that nothing is off limits to him, and he is fearful of nothing. My son was like that as well,, however, I think his son has even him beat. It is scary, but you now know that you can't turn your back, even for a minute. I have to change my entire routine. I bath at night after he is asleep and I watch him carefully throughout the day, but that doesn't stop him from getting into things he shouldn't. He is potty trained and when he goes into the bathroom alone, he has flushed entire rolls of toilet paper, and other things, and I can easily see him sticking the power toothbrushes in the toilet. He is "that" kid. Don't beat yourself up. He was safe and you are a better parent for the experience!

User - posted on 02/22/2011




I try not to be on the computer if I absolutely don't have to. I got too lost in it once and lost track of time and kids. I always make sure the doors are safe and secured. The hardest is going to the store. But I have managed to train them to stick by me or they go in the basket/shopping cart. They hate the shopping cart.

Mary - posted on 02/22/2011




You are not a horrable Mom but there is a time to play and a time to be serious . Your child might be young but you need to teach the child not to run from you !! Not to go into the road . A child was killed in our small town because the mom did not seem to care her child was out in the road several times , The last time He was run over and no longer with us . When He ran out in front of me I called the Police . The Baby fell through the legal cracks I did not know about Child protective services , But now I do if I ever see another Child in the road the parents will be investigated . In my thought there is no excuse !!! If you bury your child you will regreat you did not take the time to teach it .

Meg - posted on 02/22/2011




My son did a similiar thing. When I was upstairs. I ran down and got him. I firmly told him that it was not ok to leave without me. It is scarry, but it happens, from then on I was on guard.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/22/2011




Oh, my, you should DEFINITELY not feel bad! Mine did the same when he was about 2. He was so precocious! I SWEAR all I did was go to the bathroom! And, with a 2 yr old and a 5 yr old in the house, my potty time was down to about 30 seconds. Big brother came in and said "mom, brother is gone"...and I freaked out! He was a couple of doors down, talking with their dog...LOL...fortunately we lived in a town of about 500 people, everyone knew everyone else, and as I was frantically running to my son, my neighbor poked her head out and said "If I hadn't seen you in the next minute or so, I'd have gotten him home" with a big smile on her face.

Did it change my panic? No, but I made sure that the gates on the yard were kid proof after that.

Melissa - posted on 02/22/2011




My son has never been able to escape from inside the house (we installed the extra lock at the top of our slider) YET! But I have lost him, playing hide and seek at the park...he is a great hider. LOL. It happens to the best of us. ;)

Erinn - posted on 02/21/2011




I realized 1 day after 5 min. of being anywhere that everyone knew my childs name and since she had never met a stranger she didnt like be careful. While helpful people may be hearing your childs name you are also giving bad people an opening to approach your child and it only takes a moment.

~Jennifer - posted on 02/21/2011




This has happened to me as well.........twice.

...ok, 3 times.

The fist time...I went to take a shower. In the time it took me to start the water and remember that I forgot a towel, my son made it out of 2 locked doors and a locked gate.

The police found him after a neighbor up the street called.

(my son has autism and is non verbal)

Luckily, they also saw me, frantic and screaming for him in the middle of the street.

The second time, he made it out of a fenced in yard....a yard that was double reinforced because my friend used to have a wolf as a pet.

He was gone for 45 minutes.

He was between 4 and 5 years old in both incidences.

The third time, he made it out WITH his younger sister AND the dog from a locked reinforced gate / fenced in yard.

Our neighbor called to tell us they were all going up the street.

My dog is a chow / collie mix, and follows the kids everywhere.

Needless to say, my son 'Houdini' can pretty much escape anything.

As we look back and laugh about his ability to escape fort knox, even knowing that he could have been seriously hurt during these excursions, we do so knowing that everyone we know with kids has the exact same story of "the day my child escaped'.

It happens.

As far as him 'coming back up the street with the dog...

...when it happened to us, my husband said, ' Well, at least the dog went with him' (our dog is completely overprotective of both kids) which I replied, "well yes, he did go with them, but you know...if Timmy never made it out of the yard, Lassie would have never been a TV star"

We all have one (or 3) of these stories.

Don't beat yourself up about it.


Alecia - posted on 02/21/2011




Luckily i have yet to experience something like this...but i can almost guarantee i will. you are not a bad mother and im very glad to hear that ur son is safe and sound!!

Erinn - posted on 02/21/2011




Sounds like you have your own version of "Harry Houdini" my youngest is one of these. Thank god she is 7 now. Not too scare you but these kids can be very daring. I would recommend putting a latch lock on the top of your doors just for your piece of mind. Good luck and remember its the wild ones that also make us laugh the most.

Gwen - posted on 02/21/2011




I am a single mom and got out of the shower one day to find my daughter standing on the front porch with the front door standing wide open. She had figured out how to unlock the doorknob. This is exactly the reason I put a chain lock on my front door. Even standing on a chair, my daughter is not tall enough to reach the chain.

Etha - posted on 02/21/2011




When my kids were little my they woke up before me one day and my oldest who was 3 at the time let my 2 year old out the back door! I woke up to the neighborhood police officer returning my child! He was found at the play ground down the road scared the crap out of me! Thankfully the officer recognized my son and brought him home! When we questioned our daughter about it she said she never wanted a brother anyway and let him out to find a new home! We quickly put door locks out of her reach! lol many years later I can laugh about it!

Firebird - posted on 02/20/2011




No worries, these things happen. When I was a newborn my parents often forgot me when we went out. They usually forgot me at my grandparent's house. They'd be about half way home when they realized that only my older sister was in the car. I was such a quiet baby, and they had only one child for two years, so it took them a couple of months to remember they had a second child to bring home with them. lol

Erica - posted on 02/20/2011




My sons Grandmother "lost" him in a store when he was about that age. Dont think you are a bad mom is was an accident

LINDA - posted on 02/20/2011




Kids are kids and they are very curious. I lost my son at 18 months at a family reunion at a park out of state. Everyone looked for 10 minutes. We found him not 10ft from our original position. He decided to check out another kid's covered stroller and had fallen asleep. Then my husband lost our daughter in almost the same way at the same age. We are all human.

Rhiannon - posted on 02/20/2011




it happens to everyone at some point don't beat yourself up about it, i have lost my daughter a couple of times once when she was about 2 or 3 and she wandered off in the supermarket and oncwe when she was 7 and decided that she was old enough to walk to the shop on the main road by herself both times she was found safe and well and the 2nd time was ground for a month

Amanda - posted on 02/20/2011




Thank you Ladies. Really, thank you all so much! Last night I couldn't stop shaking. I checked on my son constantly through the night just to be sure he was there. I do think I am doing a little better today! :)

Thank you all for sharing your stories. It is really encouraging! I am glad that all of your children are okay! :)

Laura - posted on 02/20/2011




I have a couple. Firs my oldest daughter Crystal when she was young kept saying she was going to Nana's house for a tea party. I chuckled and siad maybe next weekend. I went downstairs to get the laundry and when I came back up she was gone. I ran everywhere looking for her and my dad headed down to the main road to find her. Sure enough she was out on the road stopped by two joggers.

Last year when she was 9 she wanted o catch the bus at her friend's stop. But in doing so she missed the bus completely. So instead of coming home thinking that she would get in trouble for missing the bus, she decided to walk to school. That meant she had crossed a five lane road that the speed limit is 55mph and had to cross an intersection that tractor trailers frequently use. Luckily a bus driver had seen her and stopped to pick her up.

Now my youngest daughter Sammy when she was two we went out to the farm to take care of the horses. I had to bathe my mare and asked my dad to keep on eye on the girls for me. He got too involved in a conversation with another boarder and when I put my mare away I asked him where she was. He looked around and said I don't know. We ran around the farm calling her name and we finally found here playing in a paddock with two yearlings. Luckily for us she didn't go out on the road or disappeared on the neighbors farm.

[deleted account]

I was at my Mum's with my young son who was almost 3 at the time. I thought he was with Mum and Mum thought he was with me so unbeknown to us, he had opened the gate and wandered down to the road. Someone rang the door bell, my step-Dad went to see who it was and it was a man with my son asking if the child was ours as he was playing in the middle of the road..... and this happened with three adults in the house!! Don't beat yourself up over it, your son is safe and now you are aware of what he's capable of. Hugs to you.

Louise - posted on 02/20/2011




This was a horrible experience for you and I am sure you will be the first to check the door is shut properly from now on. Don't beat yourself up about it no harm was done. Give your son a big kiss and move on, these things happen.

Kimberly - posted on 02/19/2011




My daughter is 17 months old and nothing like this has happened to me (yet!) as we live in a top floor flat so she can't get out anywhere. BUT, when I was 16 years old my parents adopted my baby brother, Will and then when I was 17 they adopted my other baby brother, Trey. When Will was about 23 months and Trey was 15 months my mom had the boys playing in the living room while she was sitting at the dining room table. After a little while the room got quiet and she went to see what they were getting into, she came around the corner and Will was sitting by his book shelf reading some books and Trey was gone! Before she could even panic the doorbell rang and one of our neighbours had brought Trey home after finding him up at the school near our house. He had opened the front door, gone down our porch steps, up the road (about 5 houses up) and crossed a street to get to the school!! My mom was horrified and embarrassed! He must have been gone at least 10 minutes and the thought of what could have happened while he was crossing that road, it just made her sick! But he was fine and we look back on it now and laugh (Will is 11 and Trey is 10) At least you know now you'll always double check the door!

Kelina - posted on 02/19/2011




not long after my daughter was born we went out for lunch with my husbands mom and her sisters. i wasn't feeling well after lunch so i went out to wait for hubby in the van, and my husband didn;t realize I was in the van or that i wasn't feeling well and let our two year old run out to the van on his own. this was fine as the parking lot had no moving vehicles in it, and my son actually came to the van. then my husband came to open the van and my son ran around the van and out into the parking lot just as a vehicle came whipping into the lot. I've never been so scared in my life! I whipped open the van door and nearly fell onto the pavement, and my husband ran out carrying the baby seat to grab him, picked him up by one arm and carried him back to the van. luckily the vehicle coming into the parking lot had also seen him and stopped. Ever since then we've been a little more strict about holding hands near traffic. I'm finding these heart stopping moments are happening more and more as he gets bigger!

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