KT for good: Buckle up your child, it makes a difference

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KT for good: Buckle up your child, it makes a difference

Part 5 of our series explains how important are child car seats to ensure the safety of your children.


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Sat 19 Jan 2019, 8:53 PM

The first thing that first-time dad Yuri Cipriano bought when baby Brigid came to the world last June was an infant child seat. It was an investment as important as a sturdy pram or a comfortable baby cot, he said.
His wife Jhasmin said the trip back home was comfy but it was made safer by the baby seat. "My husband is a safe driver but we did not take risk holding our baby in my arms while he was driving. Our baby could be pulled from my arms and thrown against the dashboard by a sudden stop," she told Khaleej Times.
"The most important item for our trip home was the child safety seat. I wonder why here in the UAE it is not required by the hospitals to check if parents brought a baby seat before they are allowed to go home with their new-born? In the US, every state requires parents to have a baby seat before leaving the hospital because it's one of the best ways to protect the baby," Yuri added.
His concern, actually, is backed by verified statistics. Studies show that there is an 80 per cent probable reduction in death or serious injuries when kids or babies are buckled up in child seats. Adults are 40-65 per cent safer when they wear seat belts.

In the UAE, a law was passed in July 2017 mandating that all passengers in the car should wear a seatbelt and kids under the age of four should be put in a car child seat.
What's wrong when children use adult seatbelts? If your child is buckled up with an adult seatbelt before he/she is tall enough, the lap part of the belt sits too high on his/her stomach. In case of a crash, this could damage the internal organs. There is also a risk of him/her slipping under the belt, according to the RoadSafetyUAE.

"An infant car seat is designed to protect your child in the event of a crash by forming a protective cocoon. Newborn seats are placed facing rearward so that a child will be pushed into the seat on front-impact and the shell and inlay protect the spine and vital parts of the child. The higher sides next to the child's head form a 'side impact protection system' in the event of a side collision and avoid the child's head to move too much. The seatbelts retain the child during your trip and avoid that they get out. They also strap the child into the safest position and holds it there in the event of a rear or side impact, just like the seatbelts for adults," RoadSafetyUAE explained.

Thomas Edelmann, managing director of the RoadSafetyUAE, gave this reminder: "We are all responsible for the health, safety and wellbeing of our children. From their first journey home from the hospital and onwards as they grow, is vital to ensure they are safe. Creating awareness to ensure that babies and infants only travel by car when restrained in a car seat is the obvious way forward."

Strict regulation on child seats
In March last year, the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) has enforced Cabinet resolution No. 27 of 2017 on the UAE system for the control of child restraint that can be installed in vehicles. All car child seats must pass crash tests and be clearly labelled by age group.
"We want to safeguard our market from substandard seats. Stabilised child restraint products in vehicles will not be allowed to be sold in the UAE markets unless there is a matching certificate stating that the seat complies with UAE standards, which are in line with international best practices," said Esma director-general Abdulla Al Maeeni.
He explained that "there are different kinds of crash tests to check the impact of a crash from the side, front and back and then measure the seat to find out how it reacts to the accident".
Another important requirement is to provide traders with signs and explanatory data in Arabic and English on the product and to attach instructions manuals and instructions for use with each product.
According to Esma, heavy fines, the closure of shops and even jail terms are the punishments importers and retailers will face if they do not comply with the regulations, he added.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and Public Security in Dubai, reminded in May last year that taxis must have car seats for children aged under four, to protect them from injuries or death in road accidents. Earlier, a senior official at the Roads and Transport Authority said that taxi franchise companies as well as limousine services have been instructed to have a child car seat available at all times.

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