The Dubai Police have so far this year rescued 39 children who were left locked in vehicles.
The police said some of them were left there by mistake, while some parents locked them in the cars as they went shopping. A few kids managed to sneak into the cars without their parents’ knowledge.
Leaving children inside vehicles could lead to suffocation, loss of consciousness and even death because of extreme heat and lack of oxygen.
Experts had earlier told Khaleej Times that the temperature in a locked vehicle, which has been under the direct rays of the sun for a long time, can soar up to 60 degrees Celsius.
Leaving or forgetting a child inside a vehicle in such extreme hot conditions exposes h/her to heatstroke and suffocation, and that can lead to death in lesser than 10 minutes.
The police have responded to 95 distress calls involving children in the first five months of 2021. These included children locked in cars and lifts.
Leaving kids in cars deliberately
The police had recently revealed how officers rescued two Asian children from a locked car after their father went shopping in a supermarket.
The children were aged two and four. Passers-by dialled 999 after they noticed the children waving to them from the locked car which had its engine switched off.
This is not an isolated incident, and police have in the past warned against the practice.
Forgetting kids behind
In the past years, there have been a number of incidents where parents have unwittingly left behind their children in closed vehicles while they were sleeping in the rear seats. Such incidents have also been reported in school buses, and have led to even deaths.
In July this year, a 4-year-old boy died after he was forgotten in a bus in Ajman. The boy, who had dozed off, was found four hours later.
A similar incident was reported in Dubai's Al Quoz in June 2019. A six-year-old Indian boy, Mohamed Farhan Faisal had dozed off after boarding a bus. The driver and other students failed to notice the little boy, who was in the second row of the bus, as they alighted outside their centre. The body was discovered over seven hours after the bus was parked and locked.
Kids sneaking into cars
In recent years, the police have reported multiple instances where children managed to sneak into cars without their parents’ knowledge.
In June this year, an eight-year-old Indian boy died after he got into a neighbour’s car while playing and got locked inside it. The incident was reported in Sharjah.
Last year, a two-year-old Arab boy suffocated after being trapped inside his father's car. The vehicle, which was left unlocked, was parked in the yard of the family's home. The toddler had managed to sneak into the vehicle while his father was away.
Police release safety tips
The police have released a set of safety tips to ensure that residents don’t leave their kids behind by mistake:
>> Always check the backseat before locking the car.
>> Put your cellphone or bag in the backseat so you check it before leaving the vehicle.
>> Use apps, sensors or set a reminder on your phone to ensure all children are out of the car before locking it.
>> Keep your vehicle locked when it’s parked.
>> Make sure your keys are out of reach for children.
>> Teach your children that a car is not a safe place to play.
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