Parents urged to keep a closer watch on their kids

In an effort to help avoid accidents The National Center for Children’s Safety & Health publishes guidelines to help parents.

November 22, 2010 04:28
2 minute read.
PARENTS ARE warned to take precautions to keep their children out of harm’s way.

Children 58. (photo credit: Illustrative photo: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Following numerous accidents in which children died or suffered major injuries last week, Beterem – The National Center for Children’s Safety & Health, urged parents to pay increased attention and prevent such incidents.

The latest included a three-year- old boy from Jebl Mukaber in east Jerusalem who fell from a window in his home and was moderately injured; a two-year-old girl who fell from a first-story window; and a six-year-old Even Shmuel boy who was seriously hurt when he fell from his bicycle.

Previously, two other children died and four were seriously injured in falls from heights; others were moderately injured.

Accidents are the biggest killer of youths from birth to age 19, Beterem said on Thursday. Around the world, 2,000 children die in accidents each day. In Israel, an average of 150 kids die each year from accidents at home and in the neighborhood, at school and in other public places.

The European Child Safety Alliance rated Israel as No. 15 among 24 countries based on its level of child safety.

Beterem director-general Orly Silbinger said responsibility for protecting children belongs to the government, the local authorities and parents.

“The problem is that when all are responsible, no one is responsible. Thus I call on government ministers to take action, each in his own sphere, along with mayors to act for child safety and for parents to supervise their children and provide them with a safe environment,” she said.

Among the guidelines are:

• Insert suitable plastic caps into unused electric outlets.

• Install bars on windows or devices to prevent windows from opening more than 10 centimeters; rented apartments should have these and not only privately owned homes.

• Place poisonous substances in locked cabinets out of the reach of children.

• Use safe heating and cooling devices.

• Balcony and stairway railings should be at least 1.3 meters high.

• Gates should be installed at the top and bottom of stairways inside the home.

• Limit the temperature of hot-water faucets to a maximum of 50º Celsius using special devices.

• Install a smoke alarm in the kitchen and in children’s rooms and keep a fire extinguisher and emergency phone numbers in an accessible place.

• Make sure floors are not slippery.

• Never leave children under the age of nine alone in the home. If a parent cannot be there, make sure a responsible adult is.

• Never leave children under the age of 14 – including babysitters – to supervise younger children. Older babysitters must be given instructions on safety.

• In public areas, parents must keep constant watch on younger children. Even facilities meant for children cannot be regarded as safe.

Always keep them within your sight. Set a meeting point in advance in case the child gets lost.

• No child under nine should be allowed to cross the street alone.

• Teach children not to play on sidewalks near traffic or in parking lots.

• Children on bicycles and other wheeled vehicles must always wear a helmet. Place children in vehicle safety seats appropriate for their age.

More information is available at the organization’s website,

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