Young children found wandering in Sarasota

- Deputies in Sarasota say two small children somehow got out of their home in the middle of the night, apparently without their parents knowing.

Early Wednesday morning, deputies were called to a gas station along Swift Road in Sarasota because two children, ages 3 years old and 18 months, were standing alone in the parking lot. A reverse 911 call was placed to nearby homes and deputies went door-to-door to locate the children's parents.

Within an hour, detectives safely returned both children back to their home. At this time, there are no charges pending against the parents.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is using this opportunity to remind parents with young children to baby-proof their home, and provided these tips:

1. Always keep doors locked and install a home security system that alerts you when doors are opened.
2. Use door knob covers. These tools make it extremely difficult for young children to open doors.
3. Consider installing window locks on every window in your home; even those you don't think your children can reach.
4. Don't leave chairs, stools or climbable furniture near doors or windows.
5. 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. "As we all know children are curious, intuitive and fast. All it takes are a few minutes and they're out of sight."

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