CDS Child Safety-1-1687591127476
Picture from a workshop aimed at educating children on how to open the door of a school bus and exit it in case they are forgotten inside. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Sharjah Supreme Council for Family Affairs, has released the findings of its latest survey, revealing that an impressive 87 per cent of school students in the emirate possess a high level of awareness of how to safely exit a school bus in case they are accidentally left behind. This notable increase in awareness demonstrates the success of the department’s programmes to bolster school safety and raise children’s awareness.

The recent survey, which included a sample of 120 children and adolescents from various nationalities, was conducted among students from three government and private schools in Sharjah. It followed a CSD social experiment carried out in April that revealed only 50 per cent of students were successful in exiting school buses independently or alerting others about their presence inside the bus.

The CSD plans to continue its school safety programmes in order to ensure that all children in Sharjah are aware of how to stay safe on their way to and from school.

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A child is being trained on how to open a bus door in case of an emergency Image Credit: Supplied

First line of defence

Hanadi Al Yafei, director of the Child Safety Department (CSD), said: “We believe that raising awareness within the community about the risks threatening the lives of children is the first line of defence to protect them. That’s why we initiated a social experiment and conducted a survey on incidents of children being forgotten in buses and vehicles. Our aim is to present officials and parents with compelling facts that motivate them to be more vigilant and attentive, sparing their children the consequences of such accidents. We encourage parents and educators to adopt more responsible practices in dealing with young ones and involve them in raising children’s awareness of safety rules that help them navigate situations that might jeopardise their well-being.”

1. Hanadi Al Yafei, CSD Director-1687591122789

She added: “This study is not the ultimate conclusion but the beginning of an ongoing journey of awareness, working hand-in-hand with educational institutions and parents to foster a culture of prevention and protection within the school environment. Our goal is to dedicate efforts to educate children on various safety skills, train them on how to react in dangerous situations, and encourage them to assist their peers. Together, we strive to solidify the principles and measures of child protection as a collective responsibility in which all groups of society participate”.

CDS Child Safety-1-1687591127476
Picture from a workshop aimed at educating children on how to open the door of a school bus and exit it in case they are forgotten inside.

Workshops for drivers, supervisors

The survey’s highly positive results bear witness to the efficacy and far-reaching impact of the CSD’s extensive awareness programmes, which encompass a range of workshops and experiments designed to measure awareness levels regarding safety rules and procedures in educational institutions and the school environment.

This year, the department has intensified its efforts by conducting targeted awareness workshops for students, as well as specialised sessions targeting 900 school bus drivers and supervisors from various schools in Sharjah. These sessions focused on compliance with child safety standards and school bus regulations.

CSD’s recent survey is part of their proactive child safety awareness programmes, including informative videos and posts on social media. The department continues to diligently work towards fostering a safer environment for children in the emirate.