190823 kid left in the car
Picture for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Parents in Dubai are risking the lives of their children by accidentally locking them inside cars while they shop or run errands, or even neglect them while they are home, Dubai Police has said.

Dubai Police figures reveal 39 incidents in which children were left alone in vehicles this year either by mistake or otherwise as a few children were using the car as a place to play.

Earlier this year, Lt Colonel Abdullah Bishwah, director of the Land Rescue Department at Dubai Police’s General Directorate of Transport and Rescue, said the figures reflect negligence on the part of parents despite educational campaigns conducted by Dubai Police.

“Dubai Police have always raised awareness about the danger of leaving children unattended, especially in cars. Sometimes, we receive three daily reports,” said Lt Col Bishwah.

“The strange thing is that sometimes, parents ask us not to break open the car but wait until they can bring the spare key. It is an unacceptable option for the police as our main priority is the safety of the child.”

According to Dubai Police, most of the incidents of children being left behind in cars have been reported from shopping centres.

Some parents tell officers that the child was sleeping and they didn’t want to carry them while they went inside for a quick purchase.

Incidents of parents being negligent at home are also frequently reported.

According to official figures, Dubai Police reported 186 incidents of children being left behind last year, including 53 in trapped in cars, 124 at homes and nine in elevators.

“Parents should leave their children at home with adult supervision at all times,” the police official said.

Dubai Police urged community members to report any such incidents by calling 999


How to avoid such mishaps

Always check the backseat of your car

Put your cellphone or bag in the backseat, so you check it before leaving your vehicle

Use smart apps, sensors or set a reminder on your phone to ensure all children are out of the car

Keep your vehicle locked when it’s parked

Make sure your car keys are out of a child’s reach

Teach your child that a car is not a safe place to play