Friday, December 16, 2011

Safe Kids Worldwide provides child passenger safety training in Abu Dhabi

The Children's delegation attending the World Health Care Congress Middle East weren't alone in Abu Dhabi this past week. Our colleagues at Safe Kids Worldwide were also there, holding a week of trainings around Abu Dhabi on child passenger safety. Based in Washington, DC, Safe Kids Worldwide is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1987 by Children's National. According to Safe Kids data, traffic crashes are the second major cause of death in the UAE. The UAE has six times more deaths from road traffic accidents per year than the U.S. and Europe. As a result, child passenger safety has become a major focus for governmental agencies in UAE, including the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

These trainings was hosted by HAAD with the aim of helping medical professionals, child care providers, police officers, and others improve child passenger safety in motor vehicles in UAE. Three certified instructors from the United States who lead the Safe Kids USA National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program and child occupant protection programming through the Safe Kids Buckle Up program taught the sessions. The instructors posted more about their experiences on the Safe Kids blog.   

The classroom portion of a training session in UAE.
The trainings included a certification program for twelve individuals to receive U.S. certification as new child passenger safety technicians, which will enable them to educate families and caregivers about how to safely transport children in vehicles throughout the Emirate. The trainees learned:
  • Crash dynamics 
  •  Selecting and securing any car seat in any vehicle
  • Selecting the correct restraint for the age, weight and height of a child
  • Problem solving where everyone should sit in a vehicle (children, infants, adults) 
  • Talking to parents about child passenger safety 
Trainees gained hands on experience in child passenger safety as well.
Additionally, there were several awareness trainings for police officers and community educators to prepare them to teach parents and caregivers how to make children safer in vehicles. Skills included:
  • How to do “curbside” education with motorists they have stopped
  • What to quickly scan for during a curbside stop when children are in the vehicle
  • The rules of basic child restraint selection and installation
  • Safety features in vehicles that protect all occupants such as airbags in the front, side and roofline
It was great to see our colleagues while on the ground in Abu Dhabi and to hear that their trainings were well received by the community, who have shown such an interest in finding better ways to keep Abu Dhabi children safe from accidental injuries.