Injuries to children increasing, says Kidsafe Tasmania

DANGER: New research shows incidents of unintentional injuries to children have not decreased in a 10-year period, with playground accidents, falling and car crashes some of the major causes nationwide.

DANGER: New research shows incidents of unintentional injuries to children have not decreased in a 10-year period, with playground accidents, falling and car crashes some of the major causes nationwide.

Unintentional injuries to children are on the increase, according to Kidsafe Tasmania.

New research found 11,711 Tasmanian children under the age of 16 required injury-related hospitilisation at a cost of more than $33.6 million in a 10-year period from 2002 to 2012. Of those, 7241 were boys and 4470 were girls.

“We know over the last 10 years that unintentional injuries to children is on the increase again,” Kidsafe Tasmania chief executive Jenny Branch-Allen said.

“Accidents can lead to death, or lead to serious injuries that can have life-long consequences – not only for the child, but for the family involved.”

Ms Branch-Allen said there were a number of dangers that caused injuries to Tasmanian children, including burns, falls and water.

“We see injuries around the home and playgrounds. And young pool drownings. Kids can drown in a very small amount of water so make sure when you organise going into the bathroom that you don’t have to go back out and grab a towel.

“Make sure you take everything with you because children should never be left alone in the bathroom.

“Burns and scalds, which can come from kids around microwaves and things like that, are another common cause. We also have injuries around toys and wheeled bikes.”

Ms Branch-Allen said 85 per cent of child restraints in cars in Tasmania were incorrectly used.

Kidsafe Tasmania’s main message is “supervision”.

“It’s really important that parents and carers supervise their child.

“We also run them through a whole range of things to be aware of – things they could do to stop unintentional injury happening. We talk about home safety and road safety.

“We talk about the correct way to walk your child to school and when they’re ready to walk to school unsupervised.

“We talk about all the bedroom furniture and all those sorts of things - just helpful things to try and prevent unintentional injuries that happen really quickly.

“One day a child might not be rolling or crawling, but the next minute they are, because children change their developmental stages very quickly.”

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