UAE: Police warn parents against leaving children unattended in cars

It is a punishable crime, offenders will be fined Dh5,000 and could be imprisoned

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Sun 21 Aug 2022, 12:43 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Aug 2022, 8:48 PM

Police in Abu Dhabi have issued a fresh warning to families about the need to take good care of children and not to leave them unattended in cars, which may result in injuries or deaths.

Captain Mohammed Hamad Al Isai, director of Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate said during a recent interview on a local television that leaving a child unattended to in a car is a crime punishable by a fine of not less than Dh5,000 on the guardian and this could be accompanied by a jail sentence.

Al Isai cited a recent incident of a child who suffocated to death in the sweltering heat when his father forgot him inside the car.

He said the father, who was apparently busy attending to a work-related phone call throughout the trip, had forgotten the child who was sleeping when he moved out and locked the car after reaching home.

It was after some time when the man realised that he had forgotten the child behind in the parked car. By the time he remembered to check the back of his vehicle, the child had already died.

“I hope families will take this incident as a warning. Whenever you move out, you must ensure that you check your car before locking it up,” warned the officer.

“Parents should not leave children unattended to, even for a minute, when moving out of the car. Guardians are responsible for the well-being and safety of children.”

He noted that this act of negligence exposes the lives of children to danger and that parents who leave their children behind in parked cars will be prosecuted for negligence.

“It is very dangerous for parents to leave their children in vehicles without adult supervision,” said the officer adding that leaving children alone inside parked cars at homes or in other places is an act of negligence which leads to serious consequences including death.

Al Isai noted that leaving children in vehicles unattended or forgotten, especially during the hot temperatures exposes them to the risk of death or suffocation due to the lack of oxygen caused by warming inside the vehicle.

Families were also told not to depend on others when getting off the car as they might leave the children in the back seats while drowsy or sleeping.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, a member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences had earlier warned that if a child, sick person or an elderly person is left inside a locked vehicle for a long time especially during hot temperatures, they might suffer from heat exhaustion and suffocation leading to their death.

Police also warned that leaving a car engine running when children are inside alone can lead to endangering the kids as they always tamper with the vehicle and its engine.


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