Dubai Police rescue 36 children from locked cars this year

Children's lives can be put at risk if they are left in cars amid the summer heat, police say

The incidence of children being left alone in cars in the UAE is far more widespread than the occasional fatalities reported each summer, Dubai police have said. Photo: Lee Hoagland / The National
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Dubai Police have reminded the public about the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars after officers rescued 36 from locked vehicles this year.

Children's lives can be put at risk if they are left alone in cars, especially during the summer when temperatures pass 40°C, police said.

The children were rescued by members of the Land Rescue Department at Dubai Police, officials said on Monday.

“Guardians of the children shouldn’t leave their cars open in front of their homes on the streets to prevent children from going inside and locking themselves in,” said Butti Al Felasi, director of the security awareness department at Dubai Police.

“It is very dangerous to leave children unattended in cars or any place. Parents shouldn’t leave the child when they go to shopping centres or even for a short stop at shops.

“Dubai Police are keen to put a spotlight on worrying matters during hot weather. There is negligence from some parents who left their children in locked cars."

He urged parents, especially mothers who drive their children to school, summer camps and entertainment activities, to check their cars before leaving.

“Studies demonstrate that temperatures in locked cars under the sun can reach 70°C, which can cause death to the child," he said.

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.

“Law No 3 of 2016 about children's rights, known as Wadeema's Law, punishes the guardians of the child if they neglect their responsibilities regarding the safety of the child and didn’t protect the child’s life,” Mr Al Felasi said.

In the first eight months of 2021, Dubai Police rescued 39 children who were left behind in locked cars.

In 2019, the body of a 6-year-old boy was found in a school bus in Dubai 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 and had to be taken to a hospital to be treated for 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.

Updated: August 22, 2022, 2:55 PM