Dubai Municipality yesterday (Wednesday) launched a month -long awareness campaign to protect children from the dangers of swimming pools, toys, and hair salons.
“We conducted several campaigns during the year but have now decided to send one overall message that targets parents, owners of salons, safety supervisors in swimming pools, and the owners of establishments,” announced Redha Salman, director of the Public Health Department at Dubai Municipality.
So far this year, Dubai Municipality has slapped fines on 27 children’s salons for violating municipality regulations.
Also this year, 49 nurseries have been fined for exceeding the required limit of students, not issuing or renewing health cards to employees, or not complying with the overall standards of cleanliness.
“In many cases, [the reason violators did not comply with the rules] was linked to low awareness, and that is why raising awareness is our tool to increase compliance and reduce the risk of fatalities,” explained Salman.
Municipality inspectors have this year carried out 33 visits to playground areas, 815 visits to swimming pools in residential buildings and hotels, and 288 visits to toy shops across Dubai.
Inspectors also carried out 402 visits to nurseries and 138 to children’s salons,
During the month -ong campaign, they expect to carry out 55 more inspections to nurseries and 21 to children’s salons.
The awareness drive will last until December during which time the municipality will distribute brochures on child safety in playgrounds, shopping centres, municipality parks, shopping and municipality centres.
“The municipality carried out a total of six investigations related to swimming pools, out of which two were related to children.
“But not all accidents were related to drowning as some included slipping and people having heart attacks in the pool. We also investigated one accident related to the playground,” said Salman.
As part of the municipality’s campaign, parents are warned not to place their full trust in their child’s swimming lessons or floating devices to protect them from drowning, and to make sure that toddlers wear leak-resistant diapers in order to maintain their health and safety.
Last month in Fujairah, two housemaids died after they attempted to save a three-year-old boy from drowning. The toddler remains in a critical condition.
During 2012, Dubai Municipality addressed 64 complaints to swimming pools and 22 complaints related to toys.
“We are carrying out this campaign now because the holiday season is approaching and we expect a lot of outdoor activities soon,” he added.