Abu Dhabi: Many young children are today aware of the hazards around them, but their guardians need to ensure that the required safety measures are properly implemented, a top Civil Defence official said in the capital Thursday.
“When I speak to school-going children, it is clear they know what not to do when they are on the roads, or near windows and the kitchen stove. But parents and other guardians need to make sure that accidents do not occur due to a lack of precautions,” Major General Jassem Al Marzouqui, commander-in-chief at the UAE Civil Defence, told Gulf News.
“For instance, a lot of measures have been taken to prevent falls from buildings, such as limiting window openings. But recently, a family was shifting things around in their home, and happened to place the couch next to the window; their child had a tragic fall,” Al Marzouqui said.
The official was speaking on the sidelines of the UAE Civil Defence Day, which was marked in the capital Thursday (March 14).
A range of activities and games were organised at Umm Al Emarat Park to mark the occasion, and to ultimately raise awareness among schoolchildren about staying safe at home and outside.
“It is impossible to remove all sources of danger from children. Every home has a stove and electric sockets, and these can be dangerous if not supervised. What we can do, however, is educate older children and closely supervise young ones,” Al Marzouqui said.
Fortunately, the number of domestic accidents is on the decline.
“In 2017, we recorded 1,940 fires in the UAE. Last year, the number of fire incidents fell to 1,735, and we hope this positive trend will continue,” the official added.
He also called upon residents to teach children about what to do in the event of an emergency.
“Children should know to call emergency services if required, and be aware of basic tips on how to put out a fire,” Al Marzouqui recommended.
A total of 19 schools will participate in the various activities, which will continue until tomorrow (March 15). Over 1,000 children are expected to benefit from the awareness sessions.
Rhea Jessica Rego, 9, Indian Grade 4 student at St Joseph’s School
“I know how to be safe on the roads: we should follow the traffic lights and walk to the left. But today, the officials also reminded us not to wear earphones when walking, and that is something I will now follow.”
Mohammad Saif, 10, Emirati Grade 5 student at Elite Private School
“Roads can be very dangerous, so we must be especially careful. We should not speed and more importantly, we should not talk on the phone or text while driving.”