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Monday, September 20, 2021

Doctors: Buckling up critical to avoiding road injuries, deaths in Qatar

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Preventing the deaths and injuries of many young people in Qatar could be as simple as making sure they are properly strapped into vehicles before their parents get on the road, local healthcare officials have said.

During a recent workshop to discuss the health of children in Qatar, doctors said traffic accidents are a leading cause of death and disability among the young adult and child population.

Grim statistics of traffic accidents among children from 2010 to 2012 were shared by Dr. Ayman El-Menyar, Director of the Integrated Clinical Research Unit of HMC’s Trauma Center, who said in a statement:

“Eighty-six percent of the children who died during those years had injuries so severe that they died even before reaching the hospital, or at the scene of the crash.

Forty percent of victims of all transport-related injuries, and 80 percent of victims who died from their injuries, were 15 to 18 years old. The data also shows that only 1.2 percent of the injured passengers and drivers were using seat belt or a car seat.”

Previously, doctors in Qatar said that more than half – some 54 percent – of deaths among children up to four years old here are caused by traffic accidents, but that many of the deaths are preventable with the use of carseats.

For illustrative purposes only
For illustrative purposes only

Buckling up children in these seats is a subject of much debate among residents here.

Some people are skeptical about their use, citing the costs involved in buying the seats or saying that their children don’t like to be restrained while in moving vehicles.

Qatar’s National Health Strategy 2011-2016 calls for providing mothers of newborns with car seats at the time of their discharge from the hospital, but it is not illegal here for small children to ride in a vehicle unrestrained or on their mothers’ laps, a common sight on Doha roads.

However, it is against the law for kids under 10 years old to sit in the front seat. Enforcement of this rule, though, does not appear to be strict.

Alluding to this issue, workshop participant Dr. Abdulla Al Kaabi, Executive Clinical Lead for the Office of Corporate Child Health Planning, said in a statement:

“Unfortunately, many people don’t really understand the magnitude of this problem. Not only do they continue to drive without seat belts, but they also allow their children to sit on the front seat, or stand and move around inside the car, instead of putting them in the backseat where it is safer and restraining them with seat belts or car safety seats suitable for their age.”

Baby steps

In recent years, Qatar’s medical community has been working to encourage parents to buckle up their children.

Carseat technician training.
Carseat technician training.

Last December, Hamad Medical Corp. began training the nation’s first carseat technicians, to help educate parents on proper usage of the seats.

Doctors said they were motivated to train 100 volunteers after noticing that a recent free carseat campaign lacked a critical educational component – namely, parents did not know what to do with the seats after taking them home.

Meanwhile, in August, HMC’s trauma department was awarded nearly $2 million in grant funding, in part to look into how to increase the use of child safety seats in Qatar.

At the time, a doctor involved in the research project stressed the urgency of educating Qatar’s public on the benefits of seat belts and car seats for kids, saying:

“Our preliminary research in Qatar showed that among our young victims of road trauma, serious injury and death only occurred in those who were not restrained.

The youngest road users in Qatar often bear the brunt of the decisions of parents and caregivers; it is high time that we prioritized the safety of our most precious cargo.”

Thoughts?

51 COMMENTS

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Althani
Althani
6 years ago

Yes, I’ve been noticing a lot more people have been buckling up lately but it’s no where near enough.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Given the evidence has been clear for decades now I am confused as to how this happens. Are people simply uneducated or is there some sort of behavioural thing going on or a combination of both? Or is it some sort of philosophical thing – if it happens it happens? There seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of what is very clear data.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I don’t understand it either. Usually people have the attitude of “it won’t happen to me” but in Qatar most people probably know someone who has gotten into a serious accident. So sadly enough in Qatar, it is almost a matter of time until you get into some kind of accident! I don’t know why this is not an enforced law.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Doh – Someone deleted my link to a youtube video. Links to video not allowed?

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Drivers do a lot of school runs and do not have the empowerment shall we say, to tell the kid to get in his child seat and shut up. Nannys too may not be empowered to get the kid to sit in his seat, they too may come from countries who are not educated or legally required to use child seats. Families here tend to be large and of similar age. Getting 4 kids in 4 car seats, plus a nanny, driver and maybe mum in the front. In reality that doesn’t happen you’d need a second car for a family day out. Yes back home, big family means buying a people mover, soccer mums van. That is just not going to happen here, it’s not very cool, a Toyoto town ace is going to replace a land cruiser as vehicle of choice even for safety.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

It’s called discipline. It should be enforced by the Parent, who is supposed to be a responsible adult, and the child told that it isn’t a matter of choice and that Nanny or Driver are not allowed to actually set off without the child being restrained. What exactly is so difficult about that?

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

I agree. It’s also habit, our kid only knows a car seat and is used to it because we started him in it in the journey home from hospital. It seems such a simple no-brainer thing to do for your child.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

combination of both….and that’s a killer!

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

I have noticed more childseats in cars since I first came here but in general there is still a shockingly low uptake on their use. Again, like always make it the law but enforce it. I feel that the problem in Qatar in so many areas of life for both expats and locals alike is that the law is simply not enforced at all.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Recently cops have been fining people 500QR for not wearing seat belts especially in the passenger seat, I experienced this myself

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

That’s good news – sorry about the fine but wear the belt. I mentioned here before that many years ago I worked for Toyota. One of my jobs there for a while was to collect crashed cars for repair or crushing. I can say from experience that we could always identify from a long way off whether the occupants were wearing seat belts or not. I will not go into detail about some of the things that I have seen but I will say that windscreens, especially modern laminated ones seem to hold on to people’s hair and people bleed a lot, an awful lot.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago

How informative this was, never realized car seats and seats belts could prevent children deaths and injuries, I always thought they were just fashionable accessories for a car. Thanks for the valuable tip doc.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

I think that’s probably more a result of the headline being misleading. “During a recent workshop to discuss the health of children in Qatar, doctors said traffic accidents are a leading cause of death and disability among the young adult and child population.” Someone has decided to focus on one aspect of a workshop on children’s health in Qatar.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

wait.. what.. dn.co strikes again.. with a misleading headline…

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

You have lost me. Car accidents are a major cause of death of children in Qatar. Seatbelts and kids car seats help decrease the incidence of this type of death. What exactly is wrong with the headline? I would have thought the smart thing to do if you want to decrease the number of deaths is focus on the primary causes.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I agree

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

The way it was reported in The Peninsula was basically the same.

Headline: “Many traffic accident victims children: Expert”

Body: One in 11 trauma patients seen at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) is a child victim (aged 0-18) of Road Traffic Injuries (RTIs), according to Dr Ayman El Menyar, Director of the Integrated Clinical Research Unit of HMC’s Trauma Center.

According to an analysis of RTI data for 2010 to 2012, 86pc of children had injuries so severe that they died even before reaching hospital, or at the scene of the crash, said Dr El Menyar.

“Forty percent of victims of all transport-related injuries, and 80 percent of victims who died of their injuries, were 15 to 18 years old. The data also shows that only 1.2 percent of the injured passengers and drivers were using seat belt or a car seat,” he added while speaking at the second Transportation Health Research in Children of Qatar Workshop.

Etc…

I fail to see what Doha News should have said? Let’s save our outrage for irresponsible parents who needlessly endanger their kids by not using appropriate seats and restraints. People that stupid don’t deserve kids.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I think what is being said in comments above is that the headline doesnt reflect the article as well as it could. My first reaction to the headline was “okay captain obvious this is nothing new” most people know seatbelts save lives even if they don’t use them. A sentence like that would be better in the body of the article since it is not something new. Personally I would have preferred if the headline highlighted that the leading cause of death of children are traffic accidents since it focuses on children. This is a good article with alarming statistics, i just think the headline didnt do it justice.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Misha

I’ve had people in this country explain to me why they don’t wear a seatbelt. The principal reason is… in the event of an accident the seatbelt will stop you from being able to escape.

They were genuinely so stupid that they actually believed that wearing seatbelts would reduce your likelihood of surviving a car accident.

In my experience here I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that adults who don’t wear are aware that seatbelts save lives, even if they choose not to wear them.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

WHAT!? Who in the world believes that seat belts will endanger you in the cause of a car crash! HAHAAHA i’ve never heard such a thing lol

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Not sure about it being misleading. Ashghal has a workshop on road construction and infrastructure – if the news reported something that was discussed during the workshop that was of interest to the community would it not be a headline? Or should it just state Ashghal had a meeting, they talked about some stuff, the end. What IS SHOCKING is that this is even being debated. The use of seatbelts and car seats has been advertised as both law and necessary through thousands of fliers, posters, billboards, corporate sponsored campaigns, television ads, radio spots, social media campaigns….I would imagine the next step is putting a Zeppelin over Doha with the message in glaring green neon. To say that people are not informed, that is just outright not true. They have all been informed, yet choose to intentionally put their children and family and themselves in harms way. The only way this changes is 5000 QR fines for kids not being in seats, 2nd violation the drivers license is suspended for 90 days, then 3rd 2 years. Impound the cars. Enforce the law and what how fast this stupidity changes. Yes, that is what it is….just plain stupid. I think continuing to use the idea that people are uniformed in one of the most connected countries in the world where everyone has a phone practically welded to their hands is just white washing it. If you leave Qatar and go to the UAE – the incidents of people driving with their kids hanging out of the windows and sunroof are the exception. From my experience in Qatar – its just the way people drive. Their car or Land Cruiser is just a big toy. Making excuses about not escaping after a crash, or wrinkling their attire is just that excuses. Exercise some common sense.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

Apparently you’ve fallen for it. It’s misleading because it’s leading to people thinking it’s being debated or discussed. HMC didn’t do a workshop of the importance of wearing a seat belt or telling people they need to wear seat belts.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

The headline didn’t say that…..but your right! I have fallen prey to Doha News’s predatory headlines once more! If only I was more observant I could have found the blatant misappropriate of internet bits and bites and could have strained my eyes assessing the more meaningful headlines of Doctors meet in Doha to talk about stuff. We could also have an endless mind numbing debate about how Doha News writes headlines, which is akin to debating what color the walls are on a building that is burning to the ground, as in…..you are so fixed on the trees that you don’t see the forest.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

So on one hand you’re annoyed with the discussion because you say it’s out there, the information, this is nothing new and people know it, but on the other hand think that an appropriate headline wouldn’t have avoided that frustration and led to a more suitable debate? Then try to get personal, when I’m agreeing with you! If Ashghal had a workshop on roads and infrastructure and DN did a headline “Katara roundabout closed” and left out allthe other helpful bits and bites, at the very least it’s not helpful, and a missed opportunity to debate the forest behind the tree

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Sorry….not trying to get personal. I just don’t think its worthwhile to debate the headline as its not misleading. While it only captures one aspect of the meeting – it is a very worthwhile component of it. To me misleading would be a dishonest or unrelated headline, such as (to use your example), “Poor road conditions are leading to thousands of deaths” and the story being about drainage systems in the industrial area, meaning an attempt to create a link between two unrelated subjects. I am not seeing it here, nor do I think debating the way Doha News writes its headlines is constructive to the larger discussion about kids being turned into projectiles and being thrown from cars because their parents are idiots.

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

Yeah buckling up may help reduce the number of injuries and deaths but what about the other major cause of this avoidable accidents and tragedies like drivers over speeding, drivers with hands on the wheel but mind and eyes on the phone, drivers jumping lanes and dashing from one lane to another and back again to the same lane to overtake, and the worst of all drivers with no respect or consideration for others with smaller vehicles then the ones they are driving

Bornrich
Bornrich
6 years ago

It is the law for front passengers to wear seat belts at all times, would it not be a reasonable progression to extend the legislation to all
passengers in the vehicle?

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

“Unfortunately, many people don’t really understand the magnitude of this problem.” And that means: many people are idiots!

Althani
Althani
6 years ago

They are just uninformed, No need to go about calling ‘many people are idiots’.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

They are “uninformed”? They have been told a hundred times what the laws are. So, how do you call them then? Ignorants? Criminals? Or geniuses? Or are they your heroes?

Althani
Althani
6 years ago

Criminals because they don’t wear seat belts?

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

No, because a: they break a law, and b: endanger (knowingly) the lives of their children. They don’t have the right to put their children in such danger.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago

i agree on that.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

If the law is to wear a seatbelt and kids to be in a child seat then yes, by definition they are indeed a criminal.

crim·i·nal

(krĭm′ə-nəl)

adj.

1. Of, involving, or having the nature of crime: criminal abuse.

2. Relating to the administration of penal law.

3.

a. Guilty of crime.

b. Characteristic of a criminal.

4. Shameful; disgraceful: a criminal waste of talent.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

By definition it is a crime, But what i meant is, I don’t really believe it’s their intention to ‘endanger their children and they are idiots on the road not wanting to fasten their seat belts’ That’s why i said it’s more of an uninformed issue, Still a lot of people don’t pay attention to the seat belts or don’t understand the greater impact it has on them during accidents, It’s more of an unintentional thing, So that’s why i think criminal is a hard word to use in this case, But you may be right..

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

I would have to agree with DS on this one. There has been more information on this one topic pushed out to the public than any over the last several years. People have been informed in a thousand ways, yet still continue to make poor choices. Lets not white wash it. If you were taught that fire is hot and burns you, but still pour gasoline on your arm and lit it on fire are you uninformed or just and idiot?

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

Okay they aren’t uninformed they are idiots, Now what do you suggest we do? Jail them? Call them idiots on the internet? or keep on informing them? Most people do wear their seat belts, Some don’t and that some need to get a hard reality check, Fines are being written up to 500 riyal for people not wearing seat belts, I don’t know what else to do in this scenario.

Marisa Marinho
Marisa Marinho
6 years ago

Daniel, I think that the “magnitude” of the problem includes opinions like yours.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  Marisa Marinho

Of course. And you support these “uninformed” criminals. They have heard what the law is. They endanger the lives of their dependents knowingly by violating these laws. Let’s call them criminals.

Marisa Marinho
Marisa Marinho
6 years ago

Sure…You can call them what you want. And drive past “them”, and feel that they are criminals and idiots. And then, you can comment on the magnitude of the problem, online, safe from having to call that to someone straight to their face. Yes, you are free to have your (slightly offensive) opinions. I am a parent, and so are “they”. No parent wants to hurt their child “knowingly”. I buckle up my kids, and I never miss an opportunity to talk about this to parents who don’t. Hope we meet in person one day, maybe I can tell you how easy that is. Speaking to criminals… I would also tell you that, pointing your finger at law breakers is even easier. Only not very constructive. Daniel, no offense, maybe change your frame of mind a little… Merry X’mas.

Bruce Browne
Bruce Browne
6 years ago

Children around the world are regularly placed in car seats, and their lives are saved during accidents. I commend those working to make sure that Qatari families ensure the lives of their precious children and heirs.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago

Evolution via Natural Selection on display.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

Every Qatari who travels to Europe or US and travels there in a car knows that it is the law to wear seatbelts and that children must travel in the rear, suitably restrained. There have been campaigns here in Qatar about wearing seatbelts and restraining children. If people of any nationality refuse to comply for some reason I cannot comprehend, then use the law. Fine them. If Qatar really wants to make a difference then stop pussyfooting around and get some hard-hitting visuals out there. If anyone let their children play on D Ring road there would be an outcry- really there is not much difference, eventually one of them will be mown down. Letting children clamber around, hanging out of windows, sticking their head out of the sun roof, sit on the driver’s lap is just waiting till the impact happens. Dead.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

How to appeal to the Muslim world, fatalistic regions and developing countries is a hot topic within road safety professionals. Hard visual campaigns popular and effective in UK, OZ, NZ have been shown to simply not work for these audiences. Bluntly, they just arnt shocked to see death, blood etc or think they can affect the outcome. However, An example of a successful campaign was to show that if you children die, there is none to look after you when you are old. Getting into the mindset is very difficult as road safety is largely dominated by Anglo, older men. Encouraging involvement from as many culture and religions and women is important for the industry.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

Perhaps the answer is to appeal to the women. Every time the husband refuses to strap in the child the wife withdraws services for 30 days. I expect this to be deleted.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Nope mine was

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I cant believe you have trivialized such an important issue.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

Look at my previous posts on this topic from older articles and see how seriously I take the subject. I think that you are missing a possible angle if you don’t see that going through mothers is a vital tactic in getting to male drivers.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

and putting them at the wheel with you…..you forgot!

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

Everyone here talks about this issue like it’s Qatari’s v.s seatbelts, It’s not the issue of the qatari not willing to strap on seat belts, Mostly everyone does, There are a few that don’t and that’s their issue, They’re risking their lives and everyone else, It’s not a cultural thing, Because a few people don’t do it.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago

It astonishes how people on this side of the world are ignorant about child car safety. I have a friend who recently had a baby boy. She received several car seats as gifts. But she still doesn’t use it. She says “Oh he cries if I don’t hold him so it’s no point of putting him in the car seat”. And this isn’t it the first time I heard that excuse in this country for not using a car seat.

I rather my child cry than risk them getting injured or even worse killled.

It really is a shame people’s igonorance is the result of their own child’s death.

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