Gardaí appeal to parents not to leave children in cars while shopping

Gardaí have appealed to parents not to leave themselves in a position where they have to leave their children in their car while out shopping in such hot weather.

It follows an incident in Donegal today when a concerned member of the public contacted Gardaí.

The parents had left their children in their car while they went an did their essential grocery shopping.

A Garda spokesperson confirmed “A lady made contact with us today with a concern in relation to children being left in the car by some parents while they conduct their essential grocery shopping.

“The concern is that some parents feel under pressure to leave the children in the car as they think that they cannot bring them into the shop with them or that it is not safe to do so.

“The lady in question explained that she had no option but take her own child with her to do her grocery shopping recently and was met with disapproval at the grocery shop in relation to having the child present with her.

“There are people who have no option but to take their child or children with them when getting their essential shopping and that is understandable in some cases.”

However, the Garda spokesperson added that it would be preferable and advisable if people did not bring children shopping and leave them in vehicles.

The spokesperson added “It is of course advisable and preferable that you leave your child at home in the care of someone else until you collect your shopping but if that is not an option for you then simply practice social distancing and good hand hygiene when at the shop.

Please do not ever leave a child/children unattended in a car because you feel that you will be met with disapproving looks or attitudes while at the shop. People have varying circumstances in life and that is understandable.

“Besides the obvious and many reasons why children should never ordinarily be left unattended in a car, the weather at present is very hot.

“Overheated cars can cause children to suffer life-threatening heatstroke, rapid dehydration, suffocation and death. Deaths from heatstroke can happen even when cars are parked in the shade.

“The younger the child, the greater the sensitivity to heatstroke, and the faster the child will dehydrate.”

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