Man realises he forgot son in mall after car accident
Dubai Police help reunite boy with family
In a shocking incident, a father of eight children realised he had left one of his sons behind at a local mall only after he met with an accident.
On a visit to Dubai, the GCC national stepped out after his vehicle hit a kerb and had a tyre burst.
When he checked on his family to see if everyone was alright, he found his 10-year-old son was missing. The accident happened on the service road of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road in front of the Dubai Police General Department of Transport and Rescue office. The boy was reunited with the family after both the father and the son sought help from Dubai Police.
Meanwhile, Dubai Police have warned parents against leaving their children inside locked cars after recording two incidents in two days. The first incident happened in Al Warqa 1 area where a boy had locked himself inside a car after the father left the key inside. The boy was rescued by the Dubai Police.
The next day, the police rescued another child who was forgotten by his parents inside the car.
‘Had I stayed away a minute longer, my 18-monthold son would have suffocated to death — alone — inside my car.”
Wajahat Ali, a father of four, shared this realisation after reading in Gulf News the story of a six-year-old Emirati girl who died after being forgotten in their family car for six hours on September 4.
The story brought back a painful experience to Ali — something he would never wish to happen to any parent.
Bracing for a potential public backlash, Ali decided to speak up about the night he almost lost his son with the hope that no child would be left behind in a car ever again.
One July night at around 9pm, Ali, 33, left his family home in Ras Al Khaimah to visit his garage just 5km away to oversee the daily operations and speak to his brother. With him was 18-month-old Mohammad Saaim Wajahat, Ali’s youngest child and second son.
“I left my son in the car because I expected I would get back in probably five minutes. I thought it’s okay to leave him for a few minutes if the airconditioning is switched on,” the administration manager from Pakistan told Gulf News.
Ali was confident Mohammad would be all right. He was standing four metres from the car, after all. “I would occasionally glance at my car to see if my son was okay inside. The windows were closed and I could see him from where I was — moving back and forth between the two front seats.”
Unfortunately, the conversation took longer than expected, Ali said, unsure if it was 15 minutes or longer.
So just as he was walking to his car, Ali noticed something amiss.
“It was like a thunderstorm when I opened the door and saw my son. His body was burning hot. He apparently had switched the AC off and I didn’t know. He usually does this when we drive.”
Children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than adults’ because their body mass is smaller and their thermoregulatory system is not yet mature.
Ali said he immediately turned on the AC and gave his son some water to cool down his body. “I hugged him and held him in my arms as I was thanking Allah Almighty that I didn’t stay away a minute longer. What if I was not around and took a few more minutes to come back?”
“That was like a nightmare for me. I thought that he was just playing that’s why he was moving back and forth on the
two front seats. But on hindsight, I realised he was trying to call me.”
Death could occur within minutes for children inside hot cars. Ali was fortunate that the incident didn’t happen during
the day when car interiors could feel like an oven within minutes. “I learnt the [biggest] lesson of my life. I would urge parents to please be very careful and never leave your children alone in the car.”
Wajahat Ali speaks about a painful experience when his 18-month-old son almost died after he left him inside the car with AC on in July. His son apparently switched the AC off.