UAE: 82% of children don't know emergency numbers, survey finds

72% have memorized parent's phone number


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 12 Jun 2022, 3:22 PM

Last updated: Sun 12 Jun 2022, 3:31 PM

82 per cent of children surveyed are unaware of important emergency phone numbers, which are vital in reaching out for help during real-life emergencies.

The poll conducted by the Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, spoke to 108 children aged 4 – 12 across different nationalities as part of the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) in May 2022.

Here are the survey results:

  • 71% of children admitted to not knowing the Child Protection Centre hotline number
  • 74% did not know the police hotline number
  • 94% did not know the ambulance services number
  • 89% did not know the civil defence number

"Teaching children to memorize important helpline numbers could save lives and keep them safe during an emergency. The survey results emphasize the vital need for a new and innovative campaign to heighten awareness to ensure the highest levels of safety and protection for the younger generations," said Hanadi Al Yafei, Director, CSD.

Here are the numbers you can get your child to memorize:

  • 999 for Police
  • 998 for Ambulance
  • 997 for Fire Department (Civil Defence)
  • 116111 for Child Protection Center hotline
  • 800988 for Dubai Child Protection
  • 800700 for Child Protection Centre in Sharjah

"The outcome of the survey has revealed the need to intensify efforts and strengthen measures to raise children's awareness of being prepared in a time of crisis," said Al Yafei.

Positive findings of the survey

Among some of the positive findings from the CSD survey are that 72 per cent of children had memorized the phone number of a parent. The same percentage of children also admitted to using seatbelts while on the road, and 80 per cent refrained from sticking their heads and bodies out of the windows of moving vehicles.


The young participants in the survey also showed high levels of awareness of the safety procedures to follow in the case of a fire. However, a sizeable percentage of the kids admitted to not knowing the civil defence hotline number.

The survey served as a wake-up call for parents and society to raise awareness of safety practices amongst children from a young age to enable them to take the right actions in the eventuality of an emergency that could otherwise endanger the child's own safety or those around them.

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