Watch: UAE parents teach children how to raise alarm if they get trapped inside school bus

Half of kids aged between 6 and 8 don't know what to do if they get left behind in vehicle, study finds


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sat 1 Apr 2023, 6:32 PM

Last updated: Sun 2 Apr 2023, 10:44 AM

A tragic accident is what prompted Dubai mum Mehnaz to teach her children how to handle the situation if they were ever looked up in a bus. “A family friend lost their child after he was forgotten in a bus a few years ago,” she said.

“It was all around tragic and came at a time when everyone thought bus deaths were a thing of the past.”

At the time a video did the rounds on social media on what children should do if they get locked in a bus. “As soon as I got it, I showed my daughters who were 8 and 4 at the time,” she said.

“I revisited the topic every couple of months to see if they remembered it and they did. In fact, they also shared it with their friends. I am grateful that they were never in a position to use that knowledge, but I believe that video should be shown to all children.”

The video shows how a child locked inside the bus gets into the driver's seat and presses the horn until an adult is alerted.

Here is the video:

This comes as a study by Sharjah's Child Safety Department (CSD) in collaboration with the emirate's Civil Defence Authority revealed that half of UAE children aged between 6 and 8 wouldn't know what to do in case they are trapped and forgotten inside their school buses.

Important to teach children

uae, sharjah, children, students, young students, child safety department, csd,  Hanadi Al Yafei, , trapped inside school bus, student, school bus
uae, sharjah, children, students, young students, child safety department, csd, Hanadi Al Yafei, , trapped inside school bus, student, school bus

According to Mehnaz, knowing the family (victim's) really changed her perspective. “We usually don’t give these things as much importance because we imagine that the likelihood for it to actually happen is less,” she said.

“But having experienced it so close and seeing the grief the family went through, we took it very seriously and felt that it was important to teach our children the safety measures.”

Several new guidelines have been introduced in school buses in the UAE over the years to prevent accidents. New technology which required all students to tag in and out of buses and a requirement by bus assistants to check each row of the bus before putting a ‘No children on board’ sign up were just some of the laws introduced over the years.

Sharjah mum Z.S. said that she taught her children to honk until someone saw them after an incident where a friend’s children got locked in the car. “I taught them how to lean on the horn until someone notices them,” she said.

“I also explained the theory of how to remove the headrest of a car and break the glass should they ever require it.”

According to the Indian expat, her lessons helped her eldest daughter. “She was playing in the car and somehow locked herself in,” she said.

“She pressed the horn until I heard it and went out to see what was wrong. I am very thankful that nothing untowardly happened that day.”

A child being locked inside a vehicle could lead to suffocation, loss of consciousness and even death because of extreme heat and lack of oxygen.


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