Be safe than sorry

While it seems like a really harmless thing to do, leaving your kid alone inside the car— even for a few minutes— is never a good idea.

Especially in a place like the UAE, where temperatures soar relentlessly during summer, doing a quick errand at the supermarket while your child stays in the car can be dangerous. It can, in fact, potentially expose him to the risk of a heat stroke or suffocation. A string of unfortunate incidents have occurred in the past few years, after family members left their kids unattended in their cars. Two such mishaps happened just last month. A boy in Sharjah died after being accidentally left in a car for almost four hours in the blistering heat, whereas a five-year-old Emirati girl died in Umm Al Quwain after her grandmother left her in a car for almost two hours while she was visiting her friend.

But don’t think you arebeing safe by keeping the car’s engine running while are away, so that your little one can stay cool in the air-conditioning and even enjoy a bit of music on the radio. If you leave your car running, you won’t just be fined Dh300 by the authorities-since you expose it to the risk of theft - you can also put your child’s life in jeopardy.

On Sunday, Sharjah Police recovered a car with a month-old baby inside, hours after it had been stolen. The parents had apparently left their baby inside a running car, which was subsequently stolen. When the car was finally found, the child was found bitterly crying for food and had to be rushed to the hospital. If it was not for the diligent investigation by the police, that involved the use of BlackBerry messenger service and Facebook to alert the public, a terrible mishap would have occurred. So choose security over convenience. Instead of ditching your child in the vehicle, take him with you to the supermarket. Yes, it can be difficult attending to children, as you struggle to find all the items on your grocery list; but a bit of multi-tasking never hurt anyone. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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