It’s happened to all of us. You’ve had something else on your mind while you’re shopping, visiting restaurants, going to the movies or playground. You come back to your car, reach for your keys and — they’re not there. Did you drop them or leave them behind some place? Did someone take them? How are you going to get into your car — or back into your house?
Most of us know the feeling of panic that rises up immediately when keys are misplaced or lost. It can be especially unnerving at night, and in bad weather. If you have children with you, a lockout situation can become nightmarish with fear not only for your own safety, but theirs.
The first thing to keep in mind is to fight down that panic sensation. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Remain calm and be patient with yourself and those around you — don’t give way to anger or blame. Just find the keys. Check every pocket, purse and shopping bag. If family members or friends are with you, make sure they do the same — including small children. Go through strollers, carriers, supply bags, slings. You’d be surprised at some of the bizarre places you might have put those keys! Go back in your mind to where you last had the keys and try to retrace your actions. Did you visit the rest room anywhere? Could they have fallen out of your pocket or purse? If you have a cell phone with you, call the places you visited and see if the keys have been turned in.