Stock Fujairah skyline
The Fujairah skyline. Fujairah Police have warned parents not to leave their children inside cars, especially in hot weather as it could lead to death due to heat and suffocation. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News Archives

Fujairah: The General Command of Fujairah Police, represented by the Traffic and Patrols Department, launched an initiative — ‘They are your responsibility. Do not leave them unaccompanied’ — that targets parents, motorists and the public to raise awareness on taking preventive measures and precautions to preserve the safety of children and not to leave them unattended inside vehicles or at home.

Fujairah Police have warned parents not to leave their children inside cars, especially in hot weather as it could lead to death due to heat and suffocation.

Police have reminded parents that it is a crime to leave a child unattended and that anyone caught doing so will be referred to court.

When children are left alone in vehicles they could play with the ignition, gear or the handbrake or even switch off the air conditioning, which could endanger the lives of those left unattended inside these vehicles.

Turning off the engine leads to a lack of oxygen supply inside the vehicle. In addition, high temperature builds up inside the vehicle, thereby further worsening the atmosphere inside the vehicle, that could lead to death, police said.

Role of family is vital

“A number of incidents have happened in the past when children were left inside vehicles and they suffocated to death. It’s considered sheer negligence of families, in the first place, as children don’t understand the risks that surround them when they are alone inside a vehicle,” a police official said.

Parents must protect their children and the role of the family is vital in this, he added.

Colonel Saleh Mohammad Abdullah Al Dhanhani, Director of the Traffic and Patrols Department, said that the awareness programme comes in line with the strategic objectives of the Ministry of Interior and the traffic sector, to make roads safer.

Violations of the law

Col Al Dhanhani said that leaving children unaccompanied for long hours, irrespective of the reason, allowing children under the age of ten to sit in the front seats of vehicles, keeping drivers distracted while driving are considered violations of the law.

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Col Al Dhanhani appealed to parents not to leave their children in vehicles with their engines running, especially in summer, in order to prevent them from being suffocated.

First Lieutenant Moza Al Darmaki, Director of Traffic Awareness and Media Branch, explained that the initiative comes as part of the precautionary and preventive measures undertaken in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and to raise awareness in order to ensure the safety and security of children.