Safety group decries 'preventable deaths'

National children’s safety center chief calls on parents to be more alert; 19 preventable accidents occur since start of summer.

August 8, 2012 05:49
1 minute read.
Children on summer camp (illustrative)

Children on summer camp 370. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)


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Nineteen children lost their lives to accidents during the first half of the school vacation, Beterem – the National Center for Children’s Safety and Health reported on Tuesday, as its director-general Orly Silbinger called on parents to be more alert and protect youth from preventable accidents.

The 19 children died in the last month alone, with two drowning and one falling from the window in his home. Last summer, 26 children died in accidents during July – thus this year’s tragic figure was something of an improvement.

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Seven of the children were aged up to four and six were aged 15 to 17.

Thirty-seven percent of the children died last month at home or nearby, an equal share died in road accidents and the rest perished in public areas such as swimming pools, the sea and nature areas. Road accidents, drowning, falls, unintentional poisoning and trauma were the most common causes. Thirteen of those who died were boys, and six were girls.

Silbinger said that with most of the summer camps over, parents must pay special attention to their children’s safety so the vacation period does not end in tragedy.

A responsible adult must be in charge of children under the age of 10 or 11. Older children should know how to reach parents by phone, even if they are busy at work. When children go off with friends, adults should ask where they are going, with whom and if the destination is safe.

Young children swimming in pools or the sea must be closely supervised at all times. A child should never be left in a car for even a moment, as an adult could forget they are there or be delayed. Parents should discuss with children what they are permitted and forbidden to do and explain the rationale behind the rules – and that the rules are not negotiable.

When going on vacation to an unfamiliar place with many stimulating sights, adults should be especially alert to the children’s whereabouts.

In hotel rooms and public areas, they should look for potential dangers such as electrical wires and low railings or windows. Adults should observe safety rules themselves to act as good examples, Beterem urges.

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