Child safety group calls for raised vigilance this summer

Burden of ensuring safety lies not only with the government, but also parents, Orly Silbinger, director of BETEREM says.

By JUDY SIEGEL- ITZKOVITCH
June 27, 2011 05:21
1 minute read.
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Little Girl 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
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High schools have just closed their doors, and the elementary schools will follow suit in a few days, but the summer vacation has already become deadly. Two teens and three youngsters have been killed in the last few days, with more injured in preventible accidents.

Orly Silbinger, director of BETEREM, the National Center for Child Safety and Health on Sunday called on the government to prepare an emergency program for child safety this summer, and demanded that parents and caregivers recognize the dangers and prepare for the two-month period when children are exposed to them.

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“Many parents lack information and are unaware of the risk of fatal accidents,” Silbinger said. “None of them received a license for parenting.”

Every year, she added, BETEREM is shocked to note the rise in childrens' deaths and injuries during the summer vacation.

Silbinger emergency plan includes the following recommendations:

• Requiring local authorities on the Mediterranean Sea and the Kinneret to ensure that lifeguards are on duty from the morning hours until sunset, and that bathing be prohibited on beaches without lifeguards.

• Ensuring that the required number of lifeguards are present.

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• Spreading information campaigns to prevent accidents – especially about leaving children without supervision.

• Upgrading enforcement on the roads • Enforcing regulations that prohibit unlicensed summer camps from operating and punishing violators.

• Requiring summer-camp management and counsellors to be trained in safety.

Silbinger said that the burden of ensuring safety lies not only with the government, but also parents, and called on adults not to abandon responsibility.

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