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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-65

Parental perceptions and drinking water source among pediatric population in the United Arab Emirates

1 Department of Growth and Development, College of Dentistry, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates
2 Department of Research Assistant, College of Dentistry, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates
3 Al Sultan Medical Center, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
4 HMRT Clinic, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Tarun Walia
Department of Growth and Development, College of Dentistry, Ajman University, Ajman
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jioh.jioh_20_19

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Aims: The aim of the study is to determine the water source used for drinking and cooking purpose by the pediatric population in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). To ascertain the underlying factors influencing the parental choice for selecting tap water or bottled water. The study was also done to evaluate whether demographic factors have an influence on the parental choice of water consumption source.Materials and Methods: A total of 200 parents who had children aged between 3- and 15-year-old were chosen for this randomized cross-sectional study. The parents of the selected children were given a prewritten questionnaire consisting of 12 questions in four different languages. The questionnaires documented sociodemographic characteristics, water consumption practices, and the rationale for choosing bottled water and tap water. The responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a Chi-square test for a single proportion. Results: Majority of the parents in this study preferred bottled water to tap water for drinking and cooking purposes. About 84% of the parents opted bottled water for drinking and 57% selected bottled water for cooking at home. The consumption of tap water for drinking purpose from school and home was only 13% and 16%, respectively. Parental educational background and household income did not affect their selected source of water. A Chi-square test of independence conducted to investigate possible association between source of water and its purpose for drinking and cooking revealed that the source of water (tap/bottled water) was dependent on its purpose. Conclusion: A greater percentage of the UAE pediatric population utilized bottled water for drinking at school and home. The perceptions about the quality and safety of tap water had a great effect on the caregiver's choice on children's water consumption habits. The demographic factors such as socioeconomic status and parental education had no influence on the source of water used for drinking purpose.

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