How to escape a locked vehicle

Medford, Ore. – A 6-year-old boy is fighting to stay alive after being found in the trunk of hot car.

Police responded to South Columbus Avenue in Medford shortly after the first call Tuesday evening.

Officials say the child is being treated for a heat-related illness at a Portland hospital.

Police are still investigating.

While this situation may be unusual, it’s a good reminder to educate children about how to escape a vehicle–even a trunk.

Kids may not necessarily know how to get themselves out of a situation that may be second-nature to adults.

Most doors can be unlocked by simply pulling a door handle, but many vehicles have rear doors may have child safety locks to prevent kids from opening them.

While usually considered a great safety feature, child safety locks can also prevent kids from escaping a hot car.

It’s a good idea to remind kids the front doors are a good place to exit a vehicle if they ever find themselves trapped. In addition, show them any interior buttons that may unlock the car automatically.

If kids ever find themselves locked in a trunk, most modern vehicles have an emergency release lever inside the trunk. When pulled, the lever simply pops the trunk open.

Escaping from the trunk through the back seat is also another option.

If those measures aren’t effective, one can kick out the brake lights from the inside, or simply yell and bang on the trunk for help.

It’s also possible–but complicated–to manually release the trunk by manipulating the trunk-release cable.

If you ever need to break a vehicle’s window, be advised it won’t be easy–glass manufacturers strengthen vehicle glass for safety reasons.

It may be instinctive to grab something and strike the center of the glass, but the weakest point is in edges, particularly the top corners. The hardest part to break is dead center.

Using an implement with a hard, sharp edge is better than something blunt. For example, if using a claw hammer, it would be better to use the claw-end than the hammer side.

And when the glass does break, it will send thousands of pieces of jagged glass everywhere, so exercise extreme caution.

Of course, you never want you or your kids in this situation, and you hope that it doesn’t happen. But if it does, make sure your kids know a way out.

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