INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (WDAF) — A metro family is back together after their toddler managed to unlock the front door and leave in the middle of the night.
Her parents and a child safety expert explain how you can avoid this happening at your home.
Alicia Constant said the sound of 2-year-old daughter saying “Mommy” will never get tiring after her family woke up and she wasn’t in her bed or anywhere to be found.
“The world is just sick, and so you’re always watching your kids,” Constant said. “When they’re out, you have them. You’re always touching them and holding them, and when they’re in their bed, you think they’re fine. You don’t expect them to just walk out of the house.”
Elayna made it through two doors, two locks and a deadbolt. Then, she walked more than a quarter-mile down the street before stopping at a stranger’s house at 4 a.m.
“Apparently, she found a house that she liked, and she went up to the door and rang the doorbell and waited there until they answered the door,” Constant said.
Those strangers called police and saved this little girl from what could have become a tragic scenario.
Officers spent an hour knocking on doors in the neighborhood, trying to find Elayna’s parents or someone who knew her.
“They just didn’t go down to this street because it was so far down,” Constant said. “They didn’t think she could walk that far and, um, I really just want to tell them thank you.”
When her parents called police after realizing she was missing, they were thankful to be reunited with their little girl.
Nate Girard with Safe Kids Kansas City suggests installing safety first locks on all doors and windows.
“A situation like this can certainly happen. It can even happen if there are precautions in place,” the Safe Kids KC strategic initiative coordinator said.
He also tells parents to put on doorknob covers that take too much strength for a toddler to turn.
“In addition to the locks, we have to be diligent about what’s around the house at night,” Girard said. “I think my toddler would be able to find a stool and step to the doorknob.”
There are also baby monitor apps that sound an alarm when there’s movement, or attach a bell to the child’s door the old-fashioned way.
Constant and her family have added more safeguards.
Elayna is back home playing with slime her older sister made thanks to a few good people who stuck around to help.
“We’re thankful and we’re happy and we’re lucky, and I thank God for keeping His eye out of her,” Constant said.
Their family is just grateful Elayna knocked on the door she did.