Parents should ‘baby-proof’ their homes, Sheriff Office reminds the public

Deputies return two young children to the youngsters’ home after finding them alone near midnight at a service station

Sheriff Tom Knight. Photo courtesy Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Tom Knight. Photo courtesy Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is reminding parents to secure doors and windows in homes with small children.

Just after midnight on July 19, deputies were called to a service station at 4779 Swift Road in Sarasota after the 911 Call Center received reports that two children, ages 3 and 18 months, were standing alone in the parking lot, a news release says. A reverse 911 call was placed to all residences within half a mile of the station, the release notes, and deputies went door-to-door to locate the children’s parents. Within an hour, detectives safely returned both children to their home, the release adds. “At this time, there are no charges pending against the parents,” the release says.

The Sheriff’s Office is using this opportunity to remind parents with young children to baby-proof their homes, the release explains. It offers the following tips:

  • Always keep doors locked and install a home security system that alerts you when doors are opened.
  • Use door knob covers. These tools make it extremely difficult for young children to open doors.
  • Consider installing window locks on every window in your home, even those you do not think your children can reach.
  • Do not leave chairs, stools or climbable furniture near doors or windows.
  • Remember children are curious and creative. Teach them the dangers of leaving home without permission and remind them of the importance of always being with an adult.

“This is a reminder for parents that your home can never be too secure,” said Sheriff Tom Knight in the release. “As we all know children are curious, intuitive and fast. All it takes are a few minutes and they’re out of sight.”