Part 5 of our series explains how important are child car seats to ensure the safety of your children.
The first thing that first-time dad Yuri Cipriano bought when baby Brigid came to the world last June was an infant child seat. It was an investment as important as a sturdy pram or a comfortable baby cot, he said.
His wife Jhasmin said the trip back home was comfy but it was made safer by the baby seat. “My husband is a safe driver but we did not take risk holding our baby in my arms while he was driving. Our baby could be pulled from my arms and thrown against the dashboard by a sudden stop,” she told Khaleej Times.
“The most important item for our trip home was the child safety seat. I wonder why here in the UAE it is not required by the hospitals to check if parents brought a baby seat before they are allowed to go home with their new-born? In the US, every state requires parents to have a baby seat before leaving the hospital because it’s one of the best ways to protect the baby,” Yuri added.
His concern, actually, is backed by verified statistics. Studies show that there is an 80 per cent probable reduction in death or serious injuries when kids or babies are buckled up in child seats. Adults are 40-65 per cent safer when they wear seat belts.
In the UAE, a law was passed in July 2017 mandating that all passengers in the car should wear a seatbelt and kids under the age of four should be put in a car child seat.
What’s wrong when children use adult seatbelts? If your child is buckled up with an adult seatbelt before he/she is tall enough, the lap part of the belt sits too high on his/her stomach. In case of a crash, this could damage the internal organs. There is also a risk of him/her slipping under the belt, according to the RoadSafetyUAE.
“An infant car seat is designed to protect your child in the event of a crash by forming a protective cocoon. Newborn seats are placed facing rearward so that a child will be pushed into the seat on front-impact and the shell and inlay protect the spine and vital parts of the child. The higher sides next to the child’s head form a ‘side impact protection system’ in the event of a side collision and avoid the child’s head to move too much. The seatbelts retain the child during your trip and avoid that they get out. They also strap the child into the safest position and holds it there in the event of a rear or side impact, just like the seatbelts for adults,” RoadSafetyUAE explained.
Thomas Edelmann, managing director of the RoadSafetyUAE, gave this reminder: “We are all responsible for the health, safety and wellbeing of our children. From their first journey home from the hospital and onwards as they grow, is vital to ensure they are safe. Creating awareness to ensure that babies and infants only travel by car when restrained in a car seat is the obvious way forward.”
Strict regulation on child seats
In March last year, the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) has enforced Cabinet resolution No. 27 of 2017 on the UAE system for the control of child restraint that can be installed in vehicles. All car child seats must pass crash tests and be clearly labelled by age group.
“We want to safeguard our market from substandard seats. Stabilised child restraint products in vehicles will not be allowed to be sold in the UAE markets unless there is a matching certificate stating that the seat complies with UAE standards, which are in line with international best practices,” said Esma director-general Abdulla Al Maeeni.
He explained that “there are different kinds of crash tests to check the impact of a crash from the side, front and back and then measure the seat to find out how it reacts to the accident”. Another important requirement is to provide traders with signs and explanatory data in Arabic and English on the product and to attach instructions manuals and instructions for use with each product.
According to Esma, heavy fines, the closure of shops and even jail terms are the punishments importers and retailers will face if they do not comply with the regulations, he added.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and Public Security in Dubai, reminded in May last year that taxis must have car seats for children aged under four, to protect them from injuries or death in road accidents. Earlier, a senior official at the Roads and Transport Authority said that taxi franchise companies as well as limousine services have been instructed to have a child car seat available at all times.
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Saudi Arabia issues calming statement as Lebanese tensions rise over port explosion case
BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Waleed Bukhari told Lebanese religious figures on Tuesday that the Kingdom “cares for Lebanon’s security, stability, institutions and co-existence between Christians and Muslims.” The Saudi embassy’s media office said: “There is no legitimacy for the discourse of strife, nor for one that goes against Lebanon’s Arab identity.” This was…
BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Waleed Bukhari told Lebanese religious figures on Tuesday that the Kingdom “cares for Lebanon’s security, stability, institutions and co-existence between Christians and Muslims.”
The Saudi embassy’s media office said: “There is no legitimacy for the discourse of strife, nor for one that goes against Lebanon’s Arab identity.”
This was the first Saudi statement since the bloody clashes in Tayouneh on Oct. 14.
At least seven people were killed in the violence in Beirut amid a protest organized by Hezbollah and its allies against the lead judge probing last year’s blast at the city’s port.
The protestors, gathered by Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, demanded the removal of Judge Tarek Bitar from the investigation.
According to the embassy’s statement, Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian “expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom, led by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for never abandoning Lebanon and its people, despite the unfair stances against the Kingdom by some Lebanese parties that only represent themselves.”
Sheikh Derian added that “the Saudi-Lebanese relations have always been and will remain solid regardless of any offensive speeches because our relations are above these speeches and Saudi Arabia will always see Lebanon as an Arab brotherly country.”
The statement comes after the Intelligence Directorate summoned the head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, to the Defense Ministry on Wednesday as part of the investigation into the bloodshed in Tayouneh.
The summoning was the motivation for Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi’s spontaneous visits on Tuesday to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and President Michel Aoun.
Al-Rahi denounced “the summoning of Geagea only by the Intelligence Directorate to testify.”
Charles Jabbour from the Lebanese Forces party told Arab News that “Geagea will not appear at the Defense Ministry on Wednesday.
“They should start with summoning Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah. All parties should give testimonies, beginning with the party that called for the demonstration. Only when a judge dares to summon Nasrallah, will we be able to talk about a state and a judiciary in Lebanon.”
The move to summon Geagea was condemned by several political figures.
Former Premier Saad Hariri refused “to engage in an absurd conflict and the frontlines of a civil war and sectarian divisions.”
He added: “Announcing that Dr. Geagea was informed to appear before the Intelligence Directorate via a plastered notification is absurd and leads the country into further division along with using state machinery for revenge politics.”
Former Premier Fouad Siniora also denounced “the bias of the judicial authorities in the military court over the deplorable Tayouneh events and the continuing violations of the constitutions by those who were entrusted with the task of preserving and protecting it.”
Siniora rejected “the practices seeking to use the judiciary for reprisals against political opponents, and not for its main mission: To seek the truth and achieve justice.”
Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat criticized the “selectivity instead of a transparent and just investigation for a comprehensive justice.”
He said: “All those who fired shots in the Tayouneh events should be arrested, without discrimination, and this destructive and futile political dispute must be ended.”
Samy Gemayel, head of the Lebanese Kataeb Party, announced his rejection to “all the means Hezbollah and the Amal Movement have resorted to in hampering the investigation into the Beirut port blast.”
Hezbollah accused Geagea of firing the first shot on Oct. 14 at the demonstrators who penetrated the anti-Hezbollah and Christian-majority Ain Remaneh area.
Former Prime Minister Hassan Diab, who is also a defendant in the Beirut port explosion investigation, visited Sheikh Derian on Tuesday, reiterating his demand “to either lift immunity from everyone without exception, or adopt the legal and constitutional mechanisms in force in the Supreme Council for the Trial of Presidents and Ministers.”
So far, all the politicians who have been accused of being involved in the Beirut port blast have declined to appear before Judge Bitar.
Amal Movement and Hezbollah ministers have refused to attend Cabinet sessions unless Judge Bitar is removed and the investigations into Tayouneh are halted, causing a governmental paralysis at a time when Lebanon is in desperate need of reforms to unblock the international aid that would lessen its dire economic situation.
Prime Minister Mikati hoped on Tuesday that “Cabinet meetings will resume as soon as possible to make the decisions required to activate the work of commissions and committees and do what is needed from the government.”
Mikati added that he hoped his government would supervise “the parliamentary elections with full integrity, to enable these elections to renew the political life in Lebanon.”
The joint parliamentary committees held a session on Tuesday and voted to keep the electoral law as it was, thus rejecting Aoun’s proposal to make amendments.
Aoun had objected to holding the elections on March 27 and to the proposals to change the expatriate voting formula by canceling the six seats allocated for Lebanese voters who live abroad.
Damascus bookshops disappear as crisis hits culture
LONDON: A former Iranian air force pilot exiled in Turkey has said he still feels unsafe after a failed kidnapping attempt last month. Mehrdad Abdarbashi, a former helicopter pilot who defected from the military when he was ordered to fight in Syria, had previously tried to resign from the armed forces, but Tehran rejected his…
LONDON: A former Iranian air force pilot exiled in Turkey has said he still feels unsafe after a failed kidnapping attempt last month.
Mehrdad Abdarbashi, a former helicopter pilot who defected from the military when he was ordered to fight in Syria, had previously tried to resign from the armed forces, but Tehran rejected his resignation and seized his passport.
In 2018, he said he received orders to be deployed to Syria on behalf of the Assad regime and decided it was time to flee Iran.
“It was the first time I was being deployed there, and I refused because I did not want to be involved in a proxy war going on there,” he told Al Jazeera.
He is now in hiding in eastern Turkey, and was recently targeted by two Iranian agents who tried to drug and kidnap him.
Turkish intelligence, which had been in contact with Abdarbashi, foiled the plot. The Iranian agents were charged with espionage and conspiracy to commit a crime in a Turkish court earlier this month.
But Abdarbashi said he still fears the Iranian regime will reach him despite Ankara’s protection.
“I don’t think I am safe in any city in Turkey right now. I think Iranian intelligence will come after me, and this time they won’t try to kidnap me, this time they will just kill me,” he said.
“Of course, Turkish police and intelligence are still looking after me. But I still think Iranian agents will somehow reach me.”
Iranian exiles in Turkey are often targeted by Tehran’s agents, who try to kidnap them to bring them back to the Islamic Republic.
In June 2020, Eisa Bazyar, a writer critical of the Iranian regime, was forced into a car in western Turkey and held for two days before he managed to escape.
The following November, Habib Chaab, an Iranian dissident with Swedish citizenship, was seized as he transited through an Istanbul airport.
For a period of time, it appeared that Ankara was complying with and even directly cooperating with Tehran’s attempts to kidnap foreign dissidents and bring them back to Iran.
In two cases, Ankara assisted with the capture and deportation of men sentenced to death for their role in anti-regime protests.
But last year’s war between Azerbaijan — perhaps the nation with the closest ties to Ankara — and Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh appears to have prompted a cooling in relations between Turkey and Iran. Their opposing sides in the Syrian conflict has also proved a more subtle bone of contention.
As relations between the two large Middle Eastern states — which share a long border and have a centuries-old history of Persian-Turkic competition — have declined, Ankara’s cooperation with Iranian intelligence operations on Turkish soil appears to have ceased.
In February this year, Turkish police arrested an Iranian diplomat at the Istanbul consulate in connection with the assassination of spy-turned-dissident Masoud Molavi Vardanjani in November 2019.
Kuwait Times Wednesday, October 27, 2021
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