Background Home is a most frequent location for pediatric injuries. Especially pre-school children are particularly vulnerable. Environmental changes with appropriate supervision of parents and care-takers are important preventive factors.
Objective To assess the safety practices among Emirati parents.
Methods Households were recruited at 4 randomly selected primary health clinics in Al Ain city (Abu Dhabi Emirate) and Hatta city (Dubai Emirate). Data were collected by trained nurses, who visited homes and interviewed parents using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS by frequency calculations and cross-tabulations.
Findings A total of 148 households (72 from Al Ain and 76 from Hatta) were analyzed. Households in al Ain and Hatta differs by monthly income having lower income in Hatta (p=0.001) and education of fathers, with higher education in Al Ain (p<0.05). 24% of parents leave small children while bathing always under the supervision of older siblings. 7% never test the bath water temperature before bathing the child. In Hatta homes more children have access to flammable materials than in Al Ain (p=0.018) and medicines (p<0.001). Only 10% of homes have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and 2% a smoke detector in the bed room. Many families keep the cleaning products in an easy access for children, as under the sink or low unlocked cabinet.
Conclusions Unsafe practices are prevalent among parents in the UAE. Intervention aiming on educating parents about home safety practices is important.
This research was supported by UAE University research grant – UPAR 31 M128.