Cabinet approves plan to reduce child injuries

500 Israeli children are taken to hospital emergency rooms each day.

February 20, 2012 05:16
1 minute read.
Children playing at a nursery

Children playing at a nursery 311 . (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved a major and comprehensive coordinated plan to promote child safety and bring down the number of deadly and disabling accidents by 35 percent by 2020.

The proposal was presented by the Health Ministry and inspired by Beterem, the National Center for Child Safety and Health, which reported that 500 Israeli children are taken to hospital emergency rooms each day, and 24,000 are hospitalized and nearly 150 die in an average year. Accidents include road accidents, falls, drownings, unintentional poisonings, burns and other preventible incidents.

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Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said: “Our children are our future. Responsibility for their safety has to be at the top of our priorities.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of such incidents could have been prevented by alertness and carefulness. We as parents, a society and a state must prevent risk to life.”

The cabinet approval was to map out the current situation, plan a multi-year program for child safety, and present the document to the government within a year.

Ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu will set up an interministerial team headed by his office that would include representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Defense, Public Security, Education, Interior, Welfare and Social Services, Industry, Trade and Labor, and Transportation.

When needed, representatives from the Justice, Construction and Housing, Environmental Protection, Culture and Sport and other government agencies will also be included, as will the Israel Police, National Insurance Institute, local authorities and Road Safety Administration.

Beterem will advise the government offices on the program.

The budget for preparing the program over the next year will total NIS 1.9 million.

As reported in The Jerusalem Post last Thursday, the plan was first publicly announced at the First Child Safety Conference organized by Beterem and attended by 1,000 people.

A feature on the Beterem conference will appear on The Post’s Health Page on Sunday, February 26.

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