Dubai: The five-year-old girl who died in a fall from a ninth-floor apartment of a building in Al Nahda on Sunday was alone at home, Dubai Police said. She was waiting in the balcony for her mother to return with her brothers from school.
A Dubai Police official said that the mother of the Sudanese girl was summoned to Al Ghusais police station for questioning after they were alerted about the incident on Sunday afternoon.
“The mother left the girl sleeping and went to collect her siblings from the nearby school. We believe the girl woke up and started looking for her mother. Not finding her inside, she must have gone into the balcony from where she could see her mother with her brothers walking into the building when she fell to her death,” the official said.
The mother told officers that she entered the flat and didn’t find her daughter. When she went to the balcony, she saw the daughter’s body lying on the ground below with a lot of people standing around her.
“We are still investigating the incident and initial reports point to negligence on the part of the family, which led to the death of the child,” the official added.
The mother was freed on bail. The police will refer the case to Dubai Public Prosecution for further investigation.
The incident is the second such within days in the UAE. Also on Sunday, a 13-month-old child died after falling from a building in Sharjah’s Al Majaz.
The girl climbed onto a chair near a window, slipped and fell. Again, negligence by the parents was found to be the reason.
Warning for parents
Dubai Police have urged parents to monitor their children in residential buildings with utmost care.
“Children don’t have proper awareness about the dangers of playing or getting close to windows. Parents should secure windows and not leave children alone in balconies as one second of neglect can lead to death,” the official added.
What does the law say?
Police said that leaving a child alone in the house is not allowed under the law.
Lawyer Hassan Elhais from Al Rowad Advocates said the UAE’s Child Protection Law places utmost responsibility on parents and guardians for children’s safety.
He said the law’s Article 35 says that a child’s parents or guardians are prohibited from subjecting the child to neglect or abandonment or from leaving them without supervision, or failing to/refraining from providing guidance.
“A person who breaks the law shall be subjected to imprisonment, a Dh5,000 fine, or both. Parents should always look after their children and not leave them alone. Parents and guardians must ensure safety of children at all costs,” Elhais added.