Parents told not to leave their children alone in cars

Prosecutors remind public of 'extremely dangerous' lesson for mother who accidentally locked in her 2-year-old son while she went shopping

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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UAE authorities have again reminded the public about the danger of leaving children alone in locked vehicles.

The Public Prosecution took to Twitter to share the story of a 2-year-old boy who was left alone in a car while his mother went shopping.

When she returned, she could not open the door of the car as the keys were inside.

After several failed attempts to unlock the car, she called the police for help.

The authorities did not reveal more details of the incident.

“Leaving children inside vehicles is extremely dangerous and parents are required to protect their children from such risks by not leaving them alone in a vehicle,” prosecutors said on Twitter.

Leaving children alone in cars is a criminal offence in the UAE.

Parents who do so could face a fine of up to Dh1 million ($272,295) and a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Experts say heat from the sun becomes trapped inside vehicles, leading to a lack of oxygen as occupants hyperventilate to stay cool and an increase in temperatures which can cause death.

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.

There have been several cases of children left alone in vehicles.

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

In the first eight months of 2022, 36 children were rescued after being left 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 in 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: September 05, 2022, 9:42 PM