x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Child seats are essential in all family vehicles

Children are precious and should be safely restrained in vehicles, readers say.. Other topics: happiness, elder abuse and terror groups.

Children are precious and should be safely restrained in vehicles, readers say. Delores Johnson / The National
Children are precious and should be safely restrained in vehicles, readers say. Delores Johnson / The National

I am writing with regard to the editorial How to ensure children’s safety on UAE roads (June 16).

I couldn’t imagine having my children in the car without them wearing seat belts.

It’s not an excuse to say that we didn’t have seat belts when we were young. Children are precious and it’s the responsibility of parents and nannies to ensure their safety.

Seat belts are in cars for a reason – use them.

S Sutton-Gardiner, Abu Dhabi

Making children’s safety seats mandatory will have no effect; education is needed.

Advertising is very influential but this week, to my dismay, I saw a tele­vision commercial for a new 4x4 vehicle and the children pictured in the back seat were not in safety seats or wearing seat belts.

I think shock-tactic advertising is needed. TV advertisements and YouTube videos should show the real effects of an accident on an unsecured child.

On channels that appeal mainly to women, the advertisements could show the effects of an accident on a baby being nursed by his or her mother rather than being properly restrained.

Name withheld by request

My four-year-old is still in a five- point harness and will be until she no longer fits in it. Then, she will be in a booster until she’s big enough to wear an adult seat belt safely.

I don’t care if that takes until she is 10 years old. Her safety is my first concern.

Angela Rihia-Tamaki, Abu Dhabi

Elder abuse is a global problem

Last Sunday was the first ­official United ­Nations World ­Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Millions of people around the world held events to raise awareness of a growing global injustice. Elder abuse – physical, psychological, financial or in any other form – is a violation of human rights.

The findings of a survey conducted in 24 cities in India are revealing, if not shocking. Some 23 per cent of the sample of older people had experienced abuse, which comprises verbal and physical disrespect, neglect, beating or slapping, not giving food and medicines, or usurping their property.

Daughters-in-law were the primary perpetrators of abuse (39 per cent) followed by sons (38 per cent) and daughters (17 per cent). But more alarming is the fact that about 33 per cent of the victims did not divulge the fact of abuse to avoid scandal, and that 39 per cent of victims feared retribution.

The boon of increased longevity has brought with it the bane of misery. This is especially true of developing countries.

Social scientists attribute this state of affairs to globalisation, industrialisation and the higher mobility of youth in search of a livelihood. The resultant breakdown in extended families and traditional values has forced young people to not only be self-sufficient but also self-centered. High living costs mean that everyone in a family must earn money, so senior citizens are seen as a burden.

Peer groups of senior citizens and voluntary organisations around the world are engaged in propagating awareness of this issue through workshops, and running courses in gerontology and geriatrics, imparting training to caregivers and establishing old-age homes.

Seniors also need to help themselves. They must abhor dependence and exert themselves to become productive and useful to their family and to society at large.

Financial, social and physical independence can help them live with dignity and respect.

CS Pathak, India

Strategy needed to tackle terror

I was saddened by Nearly 50 dead in Kenya as suspected militants target civilians (June 17).

Kidnappings and terror tactics have become more visible across the world in recent months.

Attacking and killing civilians for the sake of money is unacceptable. All countries should work together to eradicate this menace.

K Ragavan, US

Happiness comes from within us all

I refer to Seven-week programme aimed at boosting personal happiness (June 15).

Happiness is a state of being, it doesn’t come from buying designer bags and visiting restaurants and fun parks. Happiness is something that comes when we understand that nothing matters except a peaceful world, sharing our wealth, helping others, supporting equality and women’s rights, promoting education, and respect for all religions and cultures.

Happiness does not come from money but from giving that money away to help those in need. For me, happiness is my total belief that we are all one.

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi