Posted on May 15, 2018

As Ramadan approaches, Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP), the community outreach arm of the Hamad Trauma Center, is issuing advice on how to stay safe during the Holy Month.

“Ramadan is a special time of the year during which Muslims are reminded to concentrate on their faith, practice self-control, and show compassion to others,” explained Dr. Hassan Al Thani, Head of the Hamad Trauma Center. “Ramadan presents its own unique challenges as people adjust to a new routine, and these challenges have the potential to increase the risk of injury. Traditionally, we have seen a rise in the number of trauma admissions during Ramadan due to motor vehicle crashes, but the risk of injury at home may also be increased during this time,” added Dr. Al Thani.

“We encourage everyone to take extra precautions during Ramadan, whether they are at home, at work, or traveling around Qatar, so that we can all enjoy this important time of year safely,” said Dr. Al Thani. Fasting can affect people’s ability to concentrate, especially during the first few days of Ramadan when they are adjusting to their new routine. It is therefore important that people pay extra attention when driving, operating machinery or using potentially harmful household items such as knives and gas cookers.

“A key factor contributing to the increase in motor vehicle crashes, and therefore subsequent injuries, comes when people drive without due care when trying to reach their destination to break their fast at Iftar,” explained Dr. Aisha Fathi Abeid, Assistant Director of the Hamad Injury Prevention Program. “For this reason, we ask that people allow extra time to reach their destination so that they are not rushing to get to the place where they will break their fast. As always, the single most important action you can take to protect yourself in a vehicle is to wear a seatbelt at all times. If you are not in the habit of regularly wearing your seatbelt, we encourage you to use Ramadan as the time to begin this good habit,” added Dr. Abeid.

The Hamad Injury Prevention Program is offering the following advice to stay safe during Ramadan on Qatar’s roads and at home.

Road safety recommendations:

  1. Drivers and all passengers must wear a seatbelt on every trip.
  2. Do not rush to the location where you will break your fast (Iftar); start the journey early and drive within speed limits so it is safer for you and other road users.
  3. Do not drive while feeling drowsy, sleepy or distracted by electronic devices such as mobile phones; the Traffic Department has identified these factors as the most common causes of motor vehicle crashes in Qatar. 
  4. Pedestrians should use only designated pedestrian crossing areas and sidewalks when walking on the side of the road or crossing a street.
  5. Do not allow children to play in the street or road in residential areas, especially at night.
  6. Avoid parking your vehicle in a manner that obstructs traffic movement on the road, particularly outside mosques during prayer times or outside residences during Iftar gatherings.
  7. Try to finish your shopping as early as you can before peak hours during Ramadan and Eid to avoid traffic and parking issues.

Home safety tips:

  1. Young children must be supervised while in the home, especially when people are cooking. Their play areas must be clear of ‘trip’ hazards, like electrical wires and furniture. Tall shelves and other heavy furniture and equipment should be secured to the wall.
  2. Establish a ‘child free zone’ around your cooking area and ensure that children do not approach kitchen stoves, or hot oil, water, food, burning materials or electrical power sources.
  3. Do not wear clothes made from synthetic fabrics such as nylon, or flowing dresses near fire sources. When a fire breaks out in a cooking pan, avoid pouring water on it, as it may spread the fire further. Instead, cover the burning pan with a thick lid or fire blanket. Make sure that you have a smoke detector in your kitchen and at least one fire extinguisher that is charged, easily accessible, and installed in your house.