Baby dies after being left alone in car

Emirati girl suffocates to death after her parents forget her in a car
The Community By Mariam Al Saadi
Published on August 1, 2014

ABU DHABI UAE’s temperature spirals out of control during the summer and one thing to be wary about is how much heat your child can be exposed to. Sunscreen may be a suitable option when you’re out and about but there’s more than just your child’s skin that is affected. Recently, an Emirati family lost their one year and seven months old girl in Al Ruwais City in the Western Region (Al Gharbia) after they forgot her in the car. According to Colonel Ojeil Ali Abdullah Al Junaibi, Director, Western Region Police Directorate, the death was caused by suffocation and tiredness. The summer heat was too much for the Emirati girl and though she was transferred to Al Ruwais Hospital, unfortunately, she didn’t make it. While investigations are still being carried out, police have issued a warning to all parents on the dangers of leaving children without a supply of breathable air. Children have a much lower tolerance to higher temperatures as their sweat glands aren’t fully developed, which results into them being unable to sweat effectively to lower their body temperature. Children may get heat strokes, which often become lethal as cells are damaged and organs begin to shut down. One thing to remember always is that there’s no ‘short amount of time’. Therefore, if you have to run a small errand, always take your child with you as your baby may land up in serious danger in a matter of minutes. Rolling the windows down may seem like an acceptable form of ventilation but the heat still builds up and it’s not a risk you should be willing to take. Within 10 minutes, the temperature in your car’s interior can rise up to 35 degrees Celsius and will continue to rise to a degree in which your child’s underdeveloped body may not be able to handle. This doesn’t just apply to your children but also to your pets. Many pets, especially dogs, are often left unattended in hot cars with no air and no water. Some of these accidents happen due to parents intentionally leaving their children unattended in cars thinking they won’t be long, and others just forget. Many of you reading this may think ‘I’d never forget my child in the backseat’ but you’d be surprised. Nearly one in four parents of children under three years of age has forgotten a baby in a vehicle. There are many methods of avoiding this; we strongly insist that you make sure you always check before you leave. Many parents have started leaving their purses, bags and even their left shoe near their children in order to remember them! It is a rare and irresponsible occurrence, but unfortunately, it still happens. If you don’t have a child, this is still something you must bear in mind – in case you see a child or an animal alone in a switched off car, be sure to immediately call 999. Do not wait around a bit to see if the parents come back. Remember, you may not have that much time. Similarly, if you witness parents leaving their vehicles with their children still at the back seat, drop them a friendly reminder about the dangers it may cause. Colonel Junaibi, who feels deeply sad due to these repeated accidents, said, “Parents must be more responsible. I hope such incidents stop as it causes the death of innocent victims.” Recently on June 20, 2014, a concerned father of three created an eye opening video of himself in a car with the engine switched off to prove how quickly a car heats up. His video is available for you to watch and spread. He goes by the name of ‘tbartley269’ on YouTube. The video shows him sweating profusely and struggling for air after being in the vehicle only for 10 minutes. So parents, beware! Do not leave your children in the car while you run an errand.

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