Increasing child safety cases spark concerns in UAE
With so many cases being reported, parents have spoken out about their anxiety in keeping children safe.
The tragic case of a three-year-old Bangladeshi boy dying of severe burns after his mother accidentally spilled boiling water on him is the latest in a string of child deaths reported in the UAE over the last few months. Just two days prior to this tragedy, a 10-year-old European girl had drowned in a hot tub after her hair got entangled in the filter.
Whether it is the several instances of kids drowning in swimming pools or falling sick or even dying after being forgotten in vehicles, children have paid dearly for no fault of theirs.
With so many cases being reported, parents have spoken out about their anxiety in keeping children safe. "As a parent, it is a 24-hour job to worry about your child's safety and welfare. Whenever I read about an accident involving small children, I spend sleepless nights worrying whether I am doing enough to keep my kid safe," said Maneesha Agarwal, an Indian parent of a five-year-old boy.
In the same breath, Maneesha said she is careful not to "overprotect and get paranoid". "I believe in doing my best and leaving the rest to God. But certain things are beyond my control. For instance, when kids play in the park - when they are on a swing or on a slide - accidents can happen. But I cannot restrict my son from having fun."
Alexander Galani, another parent, said it is natural to worry as a parent. "Am I doing the right thing? Will my child get hurt, upset, sick or scared by an event? Am I doing enough for his/her growth, confidence, discipline or wellbeing? I used to lie awake worrying about these things, until my sister pointed out how much I worry."
Galani said she tackles a situation thinking of the "long-term benefits versus short-term risks and trust that the little bumps, pains and challenges my son faces will help him build strength, character and courage in the long run. "I also think it's important to accept that I'll never be the perfect parent but feel reassured by the fact that my child will always know deep love, courage and effort above all else."
Parenting style and safety
Many parents feel that the style of parenting also matters when it comes to children's safety. While some parents keep their children on a tight rope, others want their wards explore on their own and learn from their mistakes even if it means getting hurt.
Sameer Ghag, an Indian parent in Dubai, said: "I have discovered that parenting is unique for every child. There are times when we do get over anxious about the child hurting himself. There is certainly a room here for us as adults to understand and learn the dos and don'ts of right parenting."