Background Traffic-related injuries are the major cause of injury mortality among children in the UAE. Despite the government introduced the child car seat (CS) legislation in 2016, the use of CSs is low. There are widespread misconceptions about the safety of the holding a child in mother’s arms and traditional view of destiny. The Department of Health (DoH) Abu Dhabi in collaboration with safety experts developed a campaign in order to increase CS awareness and use among parents.
Objectives To describe child CS campaign 2013–2015 in Abu Dhabi Emirate.
Methods The planning of intervention was based on data from DoH injury surveillance and focus group discussions with parents. In order to develop media campaign, culturally sensitive educational materials and training, a collaboration with other governmental and non-governmental institutions, among others – Department of Traffic, Emirates Driving Company and Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW) was established.
Findings In collaboration with SKW extensive training was provided for 25 child CS safety technicians from different organizations, as hospitals, police, ambulance services etc. Around 500 school nurses, 30 female taxi drivers and maternal nurses at 10 participated hospitals were trained and received a full package of educational tools. 2300 CSs were distributed to newborn mothers, who were also instructed about the proper use. Certified technicians conducted more than 100 educational sessions. Different media channels were used to promote the campaign. Hospitals were involved in evaluation of 1826 women’s’ knowledge. After intervention 76% intended to use CS all times when driving and 71% were confident about proper type of CS for their child.
Conclusions The campaign focusing on child CS awareness and use proved to be successful in changing parents’ knowledge and building capacity. Proper outcome evaluation assessing traffic-related mortality and morbidity is needed. Continuation of educational activities and enforcement of legislation is necessary.