Couple break down after domestic helper accidentally leaves infant stuck in locked car at Holland Village

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A young couple in their 30s received a shock yesterday when their domestic helper accidentally left their 3-month-old infant in a locked car for 20 minutes, yesterday around 11.50am at the carpark near Holland Village Market and Food Centre.

According to the Chinese daily, the parents left their child in the care of the helper as they went to test drive a new car. The helper reportedly put the child in the back seat and left the car keys in a pouch on the front seat of the vehicle.

The helper was reportedly outside the vehicle folding the baby stroller and had the front passenger door of the white BMW sedan open. Unfortunately, an accidental knock against the door, caused the door to shut and the car to auto-lock all the doors.

A stall holder at the Market nearby, Ms Huang, told reporters that she heard a woman crying for help at the carpark, crying that her child was trapped in the car.

Her husband was also seen frantically seeking help, until he found a hammer which he used to break one of the rear windows of the car and safely extricate his baby.

The Singapore Civil Defense Force, which arrived at the scene, after about 10 minutes, confirmed that the infant did not suffer any injuries from the episode.

Leaving a child in a vehicle for prolonged periods of time could potentially be fatal for children. Just last Wednesday (14 Mar), a two-year-old Malaysian girl died after she was left in her mother’s car for four hours. The child’s mother left her in the car park of the college where she works as a lecturer and the toddler is believed to have died of heatstroke, according to the police.

40 COMMENTS

    • FYI this auto lock feature has been around for decades.
      The purpose is to lock and arm security in an event the driver forgets to manually lock and activate security.

      Another FYI, this feature can be deactivated – see owner’s manual.

      More FYI, there are other features that comes with today’s security system.
      Google it. You’ll be enlighten, and maybe next time when you own a car, you’ll know what and which system will be right for you.

    • David Chow
      In my many years of driving experience with keyless entry/start with vehicles from Nissan, Toyota, Kia, I’ve never once locked myself out because the car manufacturers are smart enough to put in safeguards that detect if the key is in the car and prevents you from locking the door if it is.

      Drivers stupid enough to forget to lock his car shall deal with the consequence themselves. It’s not the job of companies to solve problems that doesn’t exist. And having your belongings stolen beats potentially locking your infants in a hot car, any day.

    • Wilbur Wee HeWei
      You have the basic OEM security. The vehicle discussed adopts a system with features that aftermarket security offers. As mentioned, the features can be tailored.
      Had the owner been conscientious, he would had placed the security system into valet mode before going off to enjoy a test drive. Auto lock is disengaged when in valet mode.

      @Sui Walter, don’t fault the system. Fault the driver for (1) not placing the system in valet, (2) not familiarizing the maid with the system basics, and (3) not providing a valet key instead of the main key to the maid.

      Myself, My car autolocks. Will continue to auto lock and arm even when one or more doors is not properly closed or ajar. Auto locks when I start the car, and will check doors and lock when RPM is above 2500.
      I haven’t locked myself out as well

      • @ kns
        Lol! Well, that’s obviously off topic!

        But it’s not as bad as many other comments in Independent where PEOPLE would somehow explain eveything as “It’s PM Lee’s fault” Lol!

        That said, I like some of the comments here which gave good explanations about cars auto locking…just wish that other threads on other topics were like these instead of this forum being turned into a forum for political activism.

    • Absolutely!!! … and now they will put the BLAME on the domestic helper!! A domestic helper from a VILLAGE knows ZERO about modern electronic cars!! Dumb Parents who think test driving a a new car is more important than the safety of their child.

    • Why? Can’t they test drive cars? They weren’t the ones who locked the child in the car? They didn’t ask the maid to put the baby in the car. Why couldn’t the helper leave the child in the stroller? So many questions. Kindly do not judge if you’re not a parent.

    • Terrie Tan Test car must both be there ? If you ain’t going to put the baby first place in everything things else not to say looking at new cars , then what’s the whole point ?Yes , why couldn’t the helper leave the child in the stroller ? Like the term alr suggested , helper . If parent ain’t going to care even to settle the baby and the helper then go Mia to view new car … why should the helper ?
      I am a parent FYI

    • Parents are solely responsible for their own children. Having a helper doesn’t mean we should just leave our children with them 24hr a day without due care or concern. Helpers are NOT surrogate parents, they are there to give us a helping hand, not take away our responsibilities as parents. Dumb parents will never understand.

    • Larry, you’re spewing rhetoric and wise-isms while being tone deaf to the unique situation that unfortunately happened in what i’d term a freak accident. While i think the parents could have kept a spare key, there is no way to foresee a locking of all car doors in the manner that occurred. i would stop short of calling them dumb. The situation was unusual. If you’re a perfect parent, keep it up!

  1. Condemn as much as you people like but I have my fair share of locking the car doors similarly over 30 tears of driving …

    I was fortunate to have kept a spare key with my brother as a precaution..

    Now I keep a spare car key and alarm with me. ..

    One set dropped through the lift shaft but I was able to go to the office and came back with telescopic magnetic antenna at lunch to retrieve the lost set …
    We keep learning

  2. Over reliance on domestic helpers which at this point of time the cause of this little episode .
    Fine if you are both working and have to leave your sight away from the 3 month toddler while attending to job responsibilities but to leave the baby to the care of the helper while both of you happily go look at new cars isn’t reason ?To such a stage when parent already starting to lose the basic instinct of child before everything else other than work …..

  3. Riiiiiight. Everything is the helper’s fault. The parents are invalid or retarded?!

    What’s there to breakdown!? Take a stone/rock/whatever you can find and break the car’s window to reach the door handle inside. Is there a need to break down aka panic!?

  4. Drivers should always have a spare key in your wallets.( No need a remote controller just the key will do). I drove for more than 40 years and had been doing this all along. Is just like have insurance coverage. Needed to use it only once when my car got locked up accidentally while I was topping at a petrol station. Fortunately I had a spare key, otherwise I would have missed my medical appointment.