The Scary Truth Surrounding Child Safety

Each year 250 Australian families are grieving the loss of their children due to an unintentional injury with an additional 58,000 families experiencing a serious injury to their little ones.

There are no words to describe the heartbreak and pain that these families feel and, as parents, these numbers are devastating and concerning to say the least.

What can we do as parents and as members of society to ensure that these numbers are decreasing and that we are keeping our children safe from some of the most common injuries and accidents?

According to Australia’s leading safety website,

  • Injuries are the leading cause of death in Australian children and account for nearly half of all deaths.
  • More children die of injury than die of cancer, asthma and infectious disease combined.
  • Unintentional injuries account for about 88% of all injury related deaths in children and about 97% of all injury related hospitalisations.
  • Over 150,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms each year.
  • The most common emergencies for babies and toddlers include choking, button battery related injuries, breathing difficulties, burns and scalds, cuts and bruises, febrile convulsions and unconsciousness.
  • The most common causes of childhood injuries for older children include falls, road accidents, dog bites, choking, near pool drownings, poisoning, burns and scalds.
  • The leading causes of death for young children include transport related (car crashes and driveway run-overs), unsafe sleeping environments, drowning, falling furniture and suffocation.

Driveway Safety

On average, five children are killed and 47 seriously injured in driveways each year across Australia. This doesn’t include car accidents that occur on the streets. To prevent driveway related injury and death, the QLD Government suggests all parents follow these three steps:

  1. Supervise – When children are around driveways, they should be actively supervised by an adult. Ensure that young children are placed securely in a vehicle before moving it.
  2. Separate– Treat the driveway like a road. Do not let children use the driveway as a play area. Separate children’s play spaces from garages and driveway.
  3. See – All vehicles have blind spots. Drivers should get into the habit of walking around their vehicle before starting it, especially when leaving an area where a young child could be present.

Accidental Drownings

Owning a swimming pool is a big bonus in FNQ but it does come with a lot of potential dangers. According to Kids Alive, drowning is the greatest cause of accidental death in children under five in Australia.  Each week, on average, one child drowns. Here are the five steps all parents need to take to prevent accidental drownings:

  1. Fence the pool
  2. Shut the gate
  3. Teach your kids to swim
  4. Supervise
  5. Learn how to resuscitate

Unsafe Sleep Prevention

Sudden unexpected early neonatal death is a common concern for new parents and rightfully so. In 2013 there were 117 SUDI deaths in Australia which equates to .4 per 1,000 births. While there is some conflicting evidence on safe sleeping practices, Sids and Kids currently recommend the following safe sleeping practices:

  • Sleep baby on the backfrom birth, not on the tummy or side
  • Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
  • Keep baby smoke freebefore birth and after
  • Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
  • Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping placein the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months
  • Breastfeed baby

*Please note, this is not the views expressed by PakMag but taken from *