Child Safety in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Author: Khawla Saleh Farah Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman, Khawla Saleh Farah, 2017 Child Safety in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Flinders University, School of Health Sciences

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The safety of children is a matter of growing concern within Abu Dhabi, as increasing numbers of injury cases are being reported. The purpose of this research has been to explore the public health aspects of child safety throughout Abu Dhabi. One primary way of implementing effective and lasting solutions is through the development of clear policies and practices, which can be critical in addressing most of the issues affecting children and their safety. This study has sought to find evidence-based options for a culturally appropriate solution – one that is tailored to the health needs of the UAE while understanding the perspectives of key stakeholders on feasible interventions. It has been designed to tackle three objectives (i) understand the issues around child safety in Abu Dhabi, (ii) determine whether an educational intervention programme could address child safety issues in Abu Dhabi and (iii) explore the most effective and feasible interventions concerning the problems of child safety in Abu Dhabi, as defined by the stakeholders. The research design utilised the Delphi method, with qualitative data collected over two rounds through the distribution and return of questionnaires. The data collected, using the Delphi questionnaires, has offered empirical evidence which highlighted public health problems and the experts consulted have in turn suggested the development of a health/safety intervention programme in Abu Dhabi. Based on the findings, the first recommendation has been to include the provision of appropriate training programmes for caregivers, with the bulk of this aimed directly at parents. The results have further emphasized the role of the government and its agencies – such as the Ministries of Interior, Labour, Education, and Health. The findings of the study reiterate that future child safety initiatives should include a concerted effort to address the issues identified, especially the lack of specialist education for the nannies/caregivers and the parents. Suggested future research includes conducting a mixed methods study on parental attitudes to the employment of qualified or licensed nannies, with a second future study to investigate the effectiveness of community training, possibly through an interventional study. A third suggestion relates for the need for further understanding of the state of child safety in Abu Dhabi, by collecting data from different forums to help devise appropriate policies. Reflections on lessons learned were also noted.

Keywords: child safety, child injuries, nannies, caregivers, child care, child road safety, uae child, child accidents

Subject: Health Sciences thesis

Thesis type: Professional Doctorate
Completed: 2017
School: School of Health Sciences
Supervisor: Dr. Colin MacDougall