Expectant parents urged to attend free workshops on child car seat safety
DUBAI // A class that taught parents the correct use of child car seats has led to a campaign that could help to cut the risks of infant deaths by 70 per cent.
In April, the Blossom Burj Nursery held the class for 17 parents. This month it is having classes that are open to all parents, especially those expecting their first child.
An unsecured child seat can prove fatal in a serious accident.
Campaigners at Road Safety UAE said the correct use of child seats could reduce the likelihood of deaths by 70 per cent for infants, and by between 54 and 80 per cent for young children.
Lyndall, a South African mother of a two-year-old son, said not all child car seats were easy to fit.
“I used to have a Pajero and it did not have Isofix [the standard for installing child seats in vehicles] in it. I used to have to use the seatbelt to secure the base, which is a lot more complicated to fit,” she said. “It means you may strap the seat in wrongly, which I have done many times without knowing. If you have an accident and the seat is slightly loose, it won’t be effective and the child could easily be thrown from the car seat.”
Sandie, another mother who attended the class in April, said the training made her feel more responsible for her child’s safety. “Afterwards I realised how important it was to keep myself educated on regulations regarding car seats to ensure my son has a safe journey to and from the nursery,” she said.
Educating parents on the importance of using child car seats and fitting them correctly are high on the agenda of the Roads and Transport Authority.
It has advice for parents about the seats displayed on signposts along Sheikh Zayed Road.
A UAE University survey in 2014 found that one in five parents always used a safety seat for children younger than 2, while four in 10 parents never used a child car seat for children between 2 and 4 years old.
Chantal Ariens, director of the Blossom Burj Nursery, hoped to hold regular free training workshops at its five nurseries in Dubai.
“Expecting mums are a big target group,” Ms Ariens said. “I want to attract all parents.
“I understand there needs to be a cultural change on this issue with some people and that takes time.
“We want to educate from a nursery perspective for parents picking up and dropping off their children. There is a responsibility for us to educate people who need it.
“The education should start as soon as parents leave the hospital with their new babies.”
Free workshops will be held at Babysouk on September 18 and at Db Babies on September 19. Both venues are in Al Quoz and the workshops will run from 9am to 10am.
The Blossom Burj Nursery will be hosting hour-long training sessions for parents at its venues in Dubai on September 25 and 29. Call 04 421 4458 for more details.
Published: September 3, 2016 04:00 AM