Whose fault is it if a child is left in the car?

11 Feb 2024 07:30pm
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF

The issue of parents and guardians' negligence in ensuring the safety of their children is becoming increasingly concerning.

Until today, incidents of parents leaving their children in vehicles still occured in the country and continued to spread on social media.

More distressingly, such unfortunate incidents not only posed danger to children but also threatened their lives.

Last year, the police issued a stern warning to parents or guardians who were careless in ensuring the safety of their children under their care.

Selangor police chief Datuk Hussein Omar Khan said it was a criminal offence for parents or guardians to neglect their responsibilities.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Sinar received various feedback regarding the issue of children accidentally being left in vehicles.

Some agreed that parents or guardians should be blamed, while others have a different perspective.


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-Too tired, busy with work led to children being left behind-

Businesswoman, Azura Mohd, 38.

"I've been keeping up with the progress of such cases, some of which have sadly ended in fatalities. However, it appears to be a matter of fate and it's difficult to assign blame to anyone.

"It's not necessarily due to negligence; I believe that working parents, at times, are simply overwhelmed with their own responsibilities.

"In the busyness of work, it's possible that they might forget about their children, especially since many of them aren't accustomed to bringing around their children every day.

"Typically, parents who regularly accompany their children are more likely to remember their whereabouts.

"Perhaps on that specific day, there wasn't anyone available to look after or babysit them, so the parents had to bring their children along.

"That's why incidents of parents leaving their children in the car can occur. In my view, parents don't intentionally choose to leave their children in the car because I'm also a parent myself and I understand how it feels.

"I believe parents may consider placing a warning note in the car as a reminder to check on their children before exiting the vehicle.

"This note could be placed anywhere, whether on the steering wheel or the car dashboard, as long as it remains visible to the driver.

"Even if they didn't bring their children on that day, with the presence of a warning note, they can make it a routine to frequently check on their children."

Businessman, Fahmi Zainudin, 36.

"Parents can't be solely blamed for such incidents because there are numerous external factors contributing to them.

"Nowadays, everyone is preoccupied with various concerns, including the current situation, economic pressures and work demands, not to mention the challenges of navigating daily traffic congestion. Consequently, parents often have a lot on their minds, making it easier for accidents like this to occur.

"I don't think parents intentionally want to leave their children like that in the car because it involves the lives of children.

"It's just like the case of a mother who accidentally left her child in the car before. She said she thought she had already sent her child to kindergarten.

"So, I think babies should be placed in the front seat because if they fall asleep, we won't notice.

"When we put the child in front, it's easier to see, but if we put them in the back, we will immediately get out of the car when we arrive at work."

-Busy with work is not an excuse to neglect children-

Businessman, Izzat Hafizi, 26.

"Parents should be aware of their surroundings and know their children's whereabouts.

"In my perspective, parents shouldn't rely on the excuse of being too busy with work to neglect their children.

"If they use work as an excuse not to look after their children, maybe it's better if they don't work. Just stay at home and take care of the children.

"If they find it challenging to balance work and childcare responsibilities, maybe it's better if they don't work.

"If they choose to work, they must also accept responsibility. It means they need to work but also take care of their children.

"I don't want to point fingers at anyone, but as parents, priority should undoubtedly be given to the children before focusing on other activities.

"I agree that if parents feel the need to leave their child in the car for activities like shopping, they should consider alternative options.

"Either leave the child with someone else or bring another friend along. At least there is someone to look after the child. Moreover, they can remind the parents if they forget the child in the car."

Assistant office manager, Seow Han Lin, 25.

"Cases involving parents as guardians where their children are accidentally left in vehicles continue to worry society.

"This is mostly due to the negligence of guardians influenced by factors such as busyness and tasks that are beyond their ability, as well as health factors.

"In this matter, it is crucial for parents to approach this responsibility with seriousness to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

"The advice to parents is to internalise the value of family and recognise that children require constant care and attention.

"No matter how busy they are, the focus of parents should be on their children. Only then should they focus on other things like real duties and work.

"Incidents like this are not new, but until today, this issue is seen as increasingly serious.

"Therefore, it is essential for parents to prioritise this issue.

"Perhaps from now on, they need to adopt the habit of always looking at the back of the car before leaving the vehicle to ensure the safety of their children."