By Elsa Baxter
New parents will be issued with a baby seat when the leave maternity ward.
New parents in Abu Dhabi will be given a baby car seat in a bid to cut the number of child traffic deaths, it has been reported.
The plan by the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) will see some 4,500 seats given out to parents at maternity wards in the UAE capital for a two month trial period later this year, the National reports on Sunday.
“A cultural change has to happen in this region,” Dr Jens Thomsen, HAAD’s section head of occupational and environmental health, told the paper. “From a public perspective it should not be up to the personal choice of the child if they want to be restrained or not. This is something that the parents have to enforce.”
According to HAAD figures, quoted by the paper, 44 children under 17 died on the roads in Abu Dhabi last year.
“In terms of fatalities, it’s the leading cause of injury-related deaths, and the second leading cause of all deaths,” Thomsen said.
Last week, the Ministry of Interior confirmed plans for a federal bill making it compulsory to strap children in car seats by 2011.
The HAAD scheme will include all Abu Dhabi residents, both UAE nationals and expatriates.
Slowly but surely the UAE marches forward. It's a long way to go but clearly changes are happening and it's good to see. I'm sure many of us would like to see improvements happening faster but it's a young country and change too fast is not always a good thing.
What a wonderful move to start giving out car safety seats to new borns parents but please, please, please, teach them how to use the car seats and stress the importance of there use. So often we see young children either on the lap of the parents in the front of the car or standing between the two front seats. We do not like seeing young babies/children being used as human air bags!!!!!