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A family ensuring kids are duly buckled up before an outing. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Sharjah: With the onset of the winter break for most schools across the UAE, families with children are busy planning road trips, outdoor gatherings, safari adventures or park and beach outings.

The Child Safety Department (CSD) of Sharjah had issued a set of guidelines for parents to ensure safety of children during winter vacation.

The department has prepared an exhaustive list of dos and don’ts to secure the well-being of children during the holidays.

In view of the ongoing pandemic, and in keeping with its overarching mission to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children by offering right, timely guidance to parents and guardians, the department, an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) in Sharjah, has offered a set of special guidelines.

Kids need to be prepared before an outing

CSD advises parents to ensure that the location is suitable for their children’s age group before deciding on the trip or activity. They should talk to their children about the nature of the place they are heading to prior to the trip to prevent unexpected or unwelcome surprises. Children should be made fully aware of the rules to be followed so as to nit be exposed to any risks.

Use seat belts, child locks on a road trip

It is imperative that children wear their seat belts while travelling in a car, and occupy the seats designated to them by their parents at all times during commutes. Parents should ensure that car doors and windows are child-locked, and check if the first aid kit is current and ready to use in emergency situations.

Ensure children wear appropriate clothing 

CSD cautioned that this was especially important while embarking on road trips, adventures and camping in the desert. Parents should ensure that children wear necessary protective gear and when using desert bicycles, and also ride on bikes suitable for their age group. Children should be advised to ride such bikes at a safe distance from crowds, and especially avoid barbecue and campfire areas. They should wear appropriate clothing depending on the location, wind conditions as well as daytime and nighttime temperatures.

There are rules to follow at home 

CSD has also offered guidelines for stay-at-home children, especially when not under adult supervision. It is imperative for parents to take all precautions to prevent injuries to children from suffocation, playing with sharp tools or falling from balconies. They should ensure that children cannot access cleaning materials and other dangerous substances. All sharp tools should be placed out of reach of children. Windows and doors should be locked properly ensuring that they can be opened only under the supervision of an adult.

CSD has emphasised the importance of parents initiating an open dialogue with children to inform them on what they can and cannot do both outdoors and at home. The entity also advises parents to monitor their children at all times. While acknowledging their child’s independence, parents must build a close relationship based on mutual trust and dialogue to ensure their safety and wellbeing, CSD concluded.