Police warn parents about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars

Police share video of a father leaving his child behind to go to a mall

The temperature inside a car can quickly reach life-threatening levels if it is parked in direct sunlight. Sammy Dallal / The National
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Abu Dhabi Police have reminded the public about the dangers of leaving children in hot vehicles during the summer.

Police shared a video on their social media accounts that showed a man entering a shopping mall after leaving his sleeping child behind in the car.

Officials said it was a crime to leave children alone in vehicles for any reason.

"Children may unknowingly move the car, tamper with the transmission, or cause an accident,” Abu Dhabi Police said.

“This would lead to a lack of oxygen and an increase in temperatures inside the vehicle, causing death.

"Thieves can also take advantage of the situation or steal the car."

Parents who endanger their children by leaving them in a locked car could face a fine of Dh1 million ($272,295) and a 10-year prison sentence.

Police said parents should not leave their children unattended inside cars, even if it only for a few minutes to run into a shop.

“Parents have a pivotal role in protecting children from any danger,” the force said.

Experts say heat from the sun remains trapped inside vehicles.

Research by the Stanford University School of Medicine shows the temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach life-threatening levels, even on a relatively cool day.

The temperature inside a car can reach 47ºC if it is parked for one hour in direct sunlight and it is at least 35ºC outside.

Dubai Police data shows that 53 children were left alone in vehicles in 2020. About four cases were reported each month.

In the first seven months of 2021, 39 children were rescued after being left behind in locked cars.

In 2019, the body of a 6-year-old boy was found in a Dubai school bus after he was left unattended amid soaring summer temperatures.

In Sharjah that year, a 2-year-old boy was left alone in the car by his father. He had to be taken to a hospital after suffering severe heatstroke.

Also that year, two brothers, aged 1 and 3, died when the car they were left in caught fire outside a gift shop in the Zayed Port area of Abu Dhabi.

This is how hot a car can get in 10 minutes

Updated: July 21, 2022, 10:16 AM