Summer vacation has been deadly for 20 children so far
Accidents and murders push figures up • Heat wave takes its toll on adults.
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
This summer so far has been the deadliest in years for children and teenagers: Twenty have been killed in accidents and intentional injuries since the beginning of July, compared to 16 in both months of school vacation in 2009.The Council for the Child, which released these statistics on Thursday, urged parents to prevent accidents and keep their children out of harm’s way.“It isn’t too late for parents and the authorities to take action that will prevent intentional or unintentional harm to children. We must not go along with this situation. It is not fate,” said council chairman Dr.Yitzhak Kadman. “It is in our power to protect our children.”Looking at previous years, the council stated that in the two vacation months in 2008, 21 youngsters died in accidents, compared to 31 in 2007 and 34 in 2006.During the rest of the year, between six and seven children die per month from these preventible causes.Before the end of the school year, the council issued warnings on preventing harm to children during the summer. But it seems not enough parents have taken them to heart.Since July 1 of this year, the vast majority of those killed were boys. The most common age was up to three years.The causes of death were accidents, murders, home accidents, drowning, electrification, fire, suicide, inhaling glue, and choking.Meanwhile, Magen David Adom announced that in July, it treated 721 people for fainting and heat prostration compared to 399 cases in July 2000. MDA blamed the high number this year on the hotter weather and on residents’ failure to protect themselves from the sun and heat.Dehydration symptoms include apathy, weakness, severe headache, nausea and vomiting. When it is more advanced, the heartbeat speeds up, the face is pale and urine is minimal, leading in extreme cases to loss of consciousness. Attention should be paid to babies’ diapers, noting if they are dry for a long time.Pale urine is a good sign of enough hydration in both adults and children.MDA urged people to drink water even when they are not thirsty – at least 1.5 liters per hour per person when walking in the hot sun. If children refuse to drink, parents can “trick” them by adding a sweetener or giving them ice.
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