Sharjah: The Child Safety Department (CSD) has launched a series of field visits to a number of residential buildings across Sharjah to raise awareness about potential hazards endangering children’s lives. The initiative which places emphasis on warning communities about the risks of falling from balconies and windows offers practical guidance to avoid these dangers that have caused prevalent injuries and fatalities among children.
The CSD has launched this initiative as part of the comprehensive ‘Their Safety First’ summer campaign in collaboration with the Sharjah Civil Defense Authority, Sharjah Police General Command, Sharjah Prevention and Safety Authority, and Sharjah City Municipality. Designed to enhance parental awareness and encourage the adoption of essential safety measures within households, the initiative involves placing informative posters in building elevators and lobbies, encouraging parents to ensure the safety of their children from the perils of falling from perilous heights.
Commencing in Al Nahda, Sharjah, these visits will subsequently encompass the central and eastern regions, expanding the scope of this awareness campaign.
Safeguarding against falls
Aligned with the ongoing campaign, the CSD has provided crucial guidance for parents to protect their children from these potential dangers. These guidelines include avoiding leaving children without supervision within the household or on the balcony. It is also recommended to seek authorisation from relevant authorities for the installation of transparent acrylic barriers on the balcony, to firmly close balcony doors and only allow them to be opened when necessary, and use appropriate safety locks for windows and balcony entry points.
Highlighting the crucial need to instil a safety-conscious mentality in young minds, the CSD has stressed the importance of educating children about the dangers linked to climbing or hanging from balconies. They earnestly advocated for partnering with pertinent organisations to implement the most effective protocols and standards in this area. Globally, falls from elevated surfaces rank as the second leading cause of unintentional fatalities. Disturbing data from the World Health Organization accentuates the increased susceptibility of children, underscoring an urgent call for united efforts.
Second leading Cause of Death: Unintentional Incidents
Nahla Al Saadi, Deputy Director of CSD, said, “Our primary objective is to safeguard children from all potential hazards, diligently scrutinising prevalent behaviours that can tragically jeopardise their well-being. Children’s falling from balconies or windows stands out as an exceedingly perilous threat to their health and lives, particularly during their developmental stage and due to their increased curiosity about their surroundings. Often, their inclination to engage in venturesome actions unwittingly leads them to assume risks without comprehending the potential consequences.”
She added, “Inadequate supervision by parents or caretakers is a common cause of children falling from heights. By taking simple and essential precautions, we focus on raising awareness and promoting safety at home, especially on balconies and near windows. These measures, requiring minimal effort and cost, can spare children from the devastating impact of falls, ensuring their well-being.”