UAE: Parents reject free child car seats

Child car seat

Parents in the United Arab Emirates are rejecting road safety campaigns urging them to use car safety seats for their children, even when the seats are given away for free, it seems.

Despite road safety initiatives, adults believe that their youngsters are safer in their arms rather than "heartless" car seats, Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper reports, citing a study by UAE University. The research found that only one in five parents use them for their infants, with seats given away for free by hospitals "found unused and gathering dust at home". With the average Emirati family having 3.69 children, parents complained that seats took up too much space in the car, The National said.

With a lack of laws enforcing the use of child car seats in the UAE, the university found that social norms and fatalism dictated the belief that a child was better off sitting with parents. Where seats were used, one in six said they never buckled the child in.

"The participants' perception was that their mothers and grandmothers would think that it would be cruel and unsafe not to have their baby in their or another caregiver's arms while riding in a vehicle," assistant professor Nicole Bromfield said. Paradoxically, better-educated Emiratis were less likely to use child restraints in cars, researchers found.

The World Health Organisation says that the correct use of car seats can reduce the likelihood of car crash deaths by 70% in infants, leading to the study to conclude that "urgent legislative action and enforcement" was required in the United Arab Emirates.

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.

More on This Story

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • TravelAround the world

    BBC Travel takes a look at the most striking images from the past seven days


  • BatteriesClick Watch

    More power to your phone - the lithium-ion batteries that could last twice as long

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.