Image Credit: Agency

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Police rescued a girl who was locked inside her father’s car in Al Bandar area on Yas Island, an official said on Monday.

The family had gone to Yas Island for shopping. When they were in a parking lot, the father stepped out of the car and left the keys inside as he wanted to fetch something from the trunk.

The car locked automatically while he was taking a few steps to the back of the car, trapping his daughter.

The age of the child was not immediately available.

Rapid intervention teams at the Directorate of Emergency and Public Safety at the Abu Dhabi Police Central Operations Department swung into action after receiving a rescue call.

They took out the child safely from the car after smashing a window of the car.

The father expressed his gratitude to Abu Dhabi Police for their rapid response and for rescuing his daughter.

Major General Ali Khalfan Al Dhaheri, Director of the Central Operations Sector, warned people against leaving children alone inside vehicles as they could die from suffocation and trapped heat inside the car. He said children trapped in vehicles could feel sleepy and if they remain in the vehicle for a long time it could endanger their lives due to lack of oxygen and high temperatures during summer.

Al Dhaheri said Abu Dhabi Police were constantly trying to raise awareness among families and other segments of society about this danger. He urged parents to be more responsible and be alert to help reduce child-related incidents involving vehicles.

Safety tips

■  Call the emergency and rescue number as soon as you find a child locked inside the car.
■  Do not panic, as any sign of you panicking may scare the child further.
■  Try to cover the car from direct sunlight in order to maintain the temperature inside.
■  If the emergency responders are taking a longer time to arrive, the best intervention is to break the glass
■  Target the side window glass farthest from the child to avoid glass shards hitting the child.
■  Use any small pointed object or stone to hit the glass with just enough force.

Past incidents

There have been many incidents in the past involving children being trapped inside vehicles. While most of were rescued, some also lost their lives. In June 2017, two Emirati girls — aged two and four — died in Ajman while they were playing inside their father’s car, while he went for prayers. After some time, the car got locked from inside and the kids suffocated to death.

Car suffocation deaths involving children

June 4, 2017: Two Emirati sisters, aged two and four, died after they were locked accidentally in their father’s car. The incident happened in the family’s residence in Ajman.

July 10, 2014: A one-and-a-half-year-old Emirati girl died in Abu Dhabi after being forgotten in her family’s parked car.

May 9, 2014: A five-year-old boy waiting in a parked car in Sharjah died after his neck got stuck in the car’s automatic window pane.

September 6, 2013: A three-year-old Yemeni boy suffocated after being left in his parents’ car for several hours in Ras Al Khaimah.

June 30, 2013: A three-year-old Emirati boy died after his family forgot him in the car for almost four hours in Kalba.

July 6, 2012: A five-year-old Emirati girl died after her grandmother forgot her in the car for almost two hours while she was visiting a friend in Umm Al Quwain.

April 24, 2008: A four-year-old pupil died after he was left locked in his kindergarten van in Abu Dhabi.

May 25, 2007: A four-year-old Emirati girl died of suffocation as she slept in her father’s car in sizzling temperatures for 45 minutes in Al Ain.

July 16, 2000: A two-year-old Emirati boy died of suffocation in his father’s vehicle, in front of Khor Fakkan Hospital, while his parents were rushing their second son to the emergency department of the same hospital.

October 21, 1999: A three-year-old girl suffocated to death in her teacher’s car after she forgot her in the school parking lot in Bur Dubai.