With the onset of the winter break for most schools across the UAE, many families with children must be planning road trips, outdoor gatherings, safari adventures or park and beach outings, and more.
In view of the ongoing pandemic, and in keeping with its overarching mission to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children by offering right, timely guidance to parents and guardians, the Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) in Sharjah, has offered a set of special guidelines to be observed by parents when they are spending time with their children outdoors during the winter holidays.
Prepare children before trips
CSD advises parents to ensure that the location is suitable for their children’s age group before deciding on the trip or activity. They should talk to their children about the nature of the place they are heading to prior to the trip to prevent unexpected or unwelcome surprises. Children should be made fully aware of the rules to be followed so as to not be exposed to any risks.
Buckle up, use child lock and keep first-aid kit handy
It is imperative that children wear their seat belts while travelling in a car, and occupy the seats designated to them by their parents at all times during commutes. Parents should ensure that car doors and windows are child-locked, and check if the first aid kit is current and ready to use in emergency situations.
Ensure children wear appropriate clothing and protective equipment while outdoors
CSD cautioned that this was especially important while embarking on road trips, adventures and camping in the desert. Parents should ensure that children wear necessary protective gear and when using desert bicycles, and also ride on bikes suitable for their age group. Children should be advised to ride such bikes at a safe distance from crowds, and especially avoid barbecue and campfire areas. They should wear appropriate clothing depending on the location, wind conditions as well as daytime and nighttime temperatures.
CSD has also offered guidelines for stay-at-home children, especially when not under adult supervision. It is imperative for parents to take all precautions to prevent injuries to children from suffocation, playing with sharp tools or falling from balconies. They should ensure that children cannot access cleaning materials and other dangerous substances. All sharp tools should be placed out of the reach of children. Windows and doors should be locked properly ensuring that they can be opened only under the supervision of an adult.
CSD has emphasised the importance of parents initiating an open dialogue with children to inform them on what they can and cannot do both outdoors and at home. The entity also advises parents to monitor their children at all times. While acknowledging their child’s independence, parents must build a close relationship based on mutual trust and dialogue to ensure their safety and wellbeing, CSD concluded.