Twenty-one parents have been penalised in Sharjah for failing to supervise their children at home, causing a spike in domestic accidents, an official said on Thursday.
Amina Al Rifai, director of Sharjah’s Child and Family Protection Center, said their 800700 helpline had seen a ‘noticeable rise’ in reports about children who had suffered accidents at home.
Among the most common incidents were kids swallowing pills, vitamins or detergents by mistake, Al Rifai said. Most of these children were between six months and four years old.
“There were also some reports about children falling from elevated spots inside the house,” the official told Khaleej Times.
When a report is filed through the hotline, the child is examined in coordination with Al Qassimi Hospital for Women, Maternity and Children.
Once specialists determine that negligence was behind the accident, a violation would be issued and parent would be asked to sign a pledge under the judicial authority granted to social workers.
The child protection centre providers parents with counselling and guidance sessions on how to keep their kids safe.
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Al Rifai urged parents to be responsible, cautious and vigilant when taking care of their kids, especially with summer holidays just around the corner. They must be extra careful, she said, when the family steps out to spend time at farms, swimming pools and other leisure spaces.
The UAE Child Rights Law, formerly known as ‘Wadeema Law’, protects children from abuse and neglect and supports their right to safety, shelter, healthcare and education.
The law — which covers both Emirati and expat children — lays out the legal rights of minors in the UAE and is designed to protect them from any form of abuse, including physical, verbal, and psychological.