Children on their way to school.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Six children died during the previous two weeks in accidents, even though schools are not yet on vacation, according to Beterem, the Israel Center for Child Safety and Health.
Beterem CEO Orly Silbinger worries that the numbers will rise as the numbers are likely to increase when children are at home and outside on their own.
“The number of children who are hurt and killed in July and August is always significantly higher than the number during the rest of the year,” she said. Since June first, in addition to the six deaths in unintentional accidents, 44 children were seriously injured and liable to remain severely harm for the rest of their lives. Children’s accidents occur at home, in parks and playgrounds, at the beach and the swimming pool, as well as on the roads.
The deaths and severe injuries this month include: A child killed when an open vehicle overturned in Um el-Fahm; a seven-year-old severely injured when a car overturned in Haifa; a six-month-old baby in Yavne found dead in bed; an infant in Binyamin found dead in bed two hours after eating; a 16-year-old girl who fell to her death from a building in Haifa; a six-month-old baby found dead at a baby-care facility; and a two-year-old girl asphyxiated from candy.
Among safety recommendations from Beterem: Children under the age of nine should not be left alone at home, as younger ones are unable to identify and assess dangerous situations; children who are at least 12 or 14 years old be left to babysit for younger siblings; when leaving a child to watch a younger child, leave emergency numbers in a prominent place and remind the older child to use them if necessary.
Water safety has its own rules: When going to the beach or the pool, bathe only where there are lifeguards; toddlers until the age of five need constant and direct supervision when in the water – a young child can drown even in a plastic tub with a few centimeters of water inside; keep buckets and tubs out of reach of children when not in use; private swimming pools must be fenced and have locked gates to keep unsupervised children away; sensors and alarms should be installed that warn when a child has managed to enter the area of a pool.
When it comes to cars or toys with wheels: younger children should always be in safety seats and booster seats with the seat belts on; children on wheeled objects – whether skates, electric bicycles or hoverboards – must always wear a suitable helmets; and never leave a young child in a locked car – not even for a moment.
Set a meeting place when visiting public areas in the event of a child getting lost. Consider putting a note, sticker or ID bracelet or necklace on a child with your cellphone number, name and address.
When going to nature spots: Prepare equipment and clothing for environmental conditions; bonfires must be completely extinguished; consult experts when going on trails to ensure safety; bring a large amount of water – at least three liters per person; and avoid snakes and scorpion bites by not overturning rocks or sticking hands into hidden places.