UAE | Emergencies

Parents urged to use car seats for children

Mortality rate can be reduced by 71%, official says

  • By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 January 11, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
  • The car safety campaign is aimed at encouraging parents to buckle up their children in child car seats while driving.

Sharjah: Some 63 per cent of deaths of children under the age of 14 are caused by road accidents in the UAE, said an official at the Supreme Council of Family Affairs in Sharjah while stressing the importance of using children's car seats.

"Child car seats protect children and reduce the mortality rate by 71 per cent. Out of all the car accidents recorded in the country, 83 per cent of children who used car seats did not suffer any form of injury," Khadeeja Al Mansouri, Head of Health Promotion Department at the Council.

Awareness campaign

The authorities have taken the responsibility to educate the public about the importance of using children's car seats and various other ways on how to keep them safe on the road. The Sharjah Ladies Club's Child Safety awareness campaign which was launched last month will run until April in various government department buildings.

Khadeeja also said that only two per cent of Emirati families use car seats. "Children below 13 years old must sit in the back seat and wear a seat belt, but unfortunately many parents do not follow this rule," she said.

Car seats should be set up facing the back seat so that in case of an accident, the airbags do not hit the child's face. Car seats should also never be placed in the front seat, and the seats should be properly secured with a seat belt.

Alerting parents on safety rules has become a priority in the country in recent weeks. Gulf News has also launched its "Child Security & You" campaign to inform families about the dos and don'ts in keeping children safe at home and on the road.

"Children should never be left alone in a car, even though the windows are kept open, especially in hot weather, because it can lead to suffocation," Khadeeja said.

She also stressed that parents should be responsible and not leave their children alone at home and they should not play in parking lots.

 

Types of safety seats
  • Children 0-9 months, or those weighing 0-13kg, must be seated in child seats facing the rear of the car.
  • Children between 9 months and 3.5 years, weighing 9kg to 18kg, should be seated in car seats facing forward.
  • Seat boosters can be used for children between 3.5-12 years, weighing 15-36kg.
  • Support cushions can be used for children aged six to 11 years, who weigh 22kg to 36kg.
  • Child seats should be placed on the back seat, secured with seat belts.

Comments (5)

  1. Added 15:11 January 11, 2012

    It should be common sense and responsible parenting. Same as using a seatbelt. Same as not leaving your kids or children unattended, etc.

    ANNA, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:32 January 11, 2012

    Your article, Parents urged to use car seats for children, was a good read.. Inspite of so much precautions, accidents of children are more. Parents should take care for the children seats. Providing them in the back along with seat belts was really good advice. With this method implemented the accidents ratio may come down. K.Ragavan Chennai India

    K. Ragavan, Chennai, India

  3. Added 12:13 January 11, 2012

    Where can I find seat boosters ??

    Geetha, doha, Qatar

  4. Added 11:53 January 11, 2012

    The death rates are quite alarming and its the height of it that parents take the responsiblity in ensuring that their children are safe, whether they are at home or on the roads. Life is so precious so value it. The safety of children traveling in vehicles is very important for every motorists driving on the roads. that is why the authorities are developing and enforcing safety regulations, raising awareness and sharing information too. Child car seats make travel safer for your child and not just by displaying a Child on Board sign. Keeping a child car seat in place helps so that that in a sudden stop or crash your child has increased protection. this will reduce the chances of serious injury or even death. proper installation and use of child restraints is important. Each of us must do our part to make roads travel safer for children. Are we waiting for some thing to happen and risk our lives and the lives of others? There are rear-facing infant seats, forward-facing child seats and booster seats. They are all designed to protect children. Older children can use a seat belt. If children are seated behind the car safely, then the driver can look forward and concentrate when he/she is driving. Drivers should be slapped with a fine by the police patrol who dont follow suit and take child safety rules into consideration. Similarly, i have seen children sticking their head out of the window and parents have to be fined.

    Mathew Litty, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:29 January 11, 2012

    The figure 63% is a worrying situation and it is just due to the ignorance and carelessness. Where speeding is an issue, child safety is also another big issue. I believe this is a very effective initiative from the authorities; this can avoid a lot of injuries and mortality rate.

    Afshan Rashid, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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