Worldwide, nearly 1 million children die from injuries every year. Tens of millions more require hospital care for non-fatal injuries, many possibly leading to lifelong disabilities. More children die of injuries than die of cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined. Injuries affect children of all ages, but small children under five years are at a particular risk. The most common injuries are traffic injuries, burns and falls, poisoning, drowning and suffocation.
Why do children have accidents?
Because children explore their surroundings with great curiosity unaware of all the risks that exist around them. Children are often absorbed in their own immediate interests and they can be oblivious to their surroundings. They only have a limited perception of the environment, because of their lack of experience or development. They are not aware of the consequences of the many new situations they encounter daily. Curiosity and a spirit of adventure may lead a child into danger. A child’s interpretation of a situation may be inaccurate and adults should be aware not to expect too much of them.
The home is known as a safe place, but it is here the most accidents happen especially with small children, Every day children are hurt when interacting with products in their daily environments. Children will always hurt themselves, it is a part of growing up, but as adults we can prevent and minimize the accidents, especially the dangerous ones with catastrophic aftermaths.
Children from low-income families
Children from low-income families are even at bigger risk for unintentional injuries.They live often in more hazardous environments, maybe exposed to fast traffic, lack of safe play spaces and homes with unsafe structures like stairs without rails or gates and windows without bars and locks, an absence of child care options or supervision. Low income families may not be able to afford safety equipment such as home safety equipment , child restraints for cars, smoke alarms or bicycle helmets. Many families don’t have access to the information and resources they need to keep their children safe.
The Convention of the Rights of the Child
Children are especially vulnerable to injuries, they need special consideration to safeguard their right to health and to a safe environment, stated in article 24 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Every society is responsible for ensuring that this fundamental right is fulfilled.
Development of preventive measures
Development of preventive measures has been impeded not only by limited health budgets, but also by that injuries in many countries have been perceived as a less serious problem.
We need to do a global effort to reduce the leading cause of child mortality and create a safer and more just society for children.
Environmental modification like child friendly infrastructure, engineering of safer products, product modification legislation, regulation, enforcement, standards, policies, education and skill development. Evidence shows that both public health and environmental science policies save lives, for example, regulations on poison packaging and child restraints in cars.
Set up national safety programmes
- “Loans of car set for a low fee programs” for low income families
- Home safety equipment box to all parents
- Pedestrian reflectors to all school children
- Road safety education for to school children
- Road safety education for teachers
- After school programs “ Biking school”
- Bicycle purchases should come together with an approved helmet
- Home safety education for newbecomed mothers at maternel ward together with “Home safety equipment box”
- “Small Part Cylinder”to all parents with children under 3 years age
- Fire alarms to all households
- First aid training for teachers, preschool teachers and childminders
- Safe toys
- Safe playgrounds
- School traffic wardens
Set up Safety Corners in community centers to
- Inform about child safety
- Distribute Safety brochures and safety material
- Set up education programmes like “safety in the home”, “road safety”, “first aid ” etc
- Distribute “Small Part Cylinder” to all parents with children under 3 years age
- Help with car seat installations
- Inform about the importance of using safety equipment
- Inform and guidance about safe toys and age appropriate toys
- Community Centers could also handle national programmes like “Loans of car set for a low fee programs”
Educate volunteer Community Safety Ambassador with the mission to
- Report safety issues in the community by visiting schools, playgrounds, parks etc
- Help parents installing safety equipment in the home
- Take part in community safety campaigns etc
To address safety issues comprehensively, will require the participation of everybody: parents, teachers, law enforcement, government, health care and NGOs.
We have a duty to protect children from injury and violence. Children live in a world designed for adults, but they have special needs and are more vulnerable than adults to certain factors in their environment which may place them at additional risk of injury” Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director, UNICEF.
Playtime Seychelles promotes safety for small children
- On the Road
- In the Car
- On the Bike
- In the Home
- Safe Toys
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