Children have the right to safe environments.
Every year, nearly 1 million children die from injuries. Tens of millions more require hospital care for non-fatal injuries. Many are left with permanent disabilities or brain damage. More children die of injuries than die of cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined. Injuries affect children of all ages. Girls and boys under 5 years of age are at particular risk, more boys than girls. The most common injuries are traffic injuries, burns and falls, poisoning and drowning. Traffic injuries are the leading causes of injury and death among children. Convention of the Rights of the Child art. 24 state, that children have the right to safe environments. But many environments that children are exposed to contain various dangers that could lead to severe or fatal injuries. For children between 0- 5 years old, the most common place where they get injured is in or around their homes.
The good thing is that most of the injuries can be prevented!
Prevention requires carefully supervising of children and keeping them away from dangers, such as cooking fires, water sources, places where they can fall, roads and items that can poison, choke or hurt them.
Car safety seats, pedestrian reflectors, bike helmets, safety equipment for the home and safe toys are some of the things that can help to prevent injuries and death among children.
Motor vehicle crashes
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for children. But children’s deaths in car crashes can be prevented by restrain children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries.
Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles.
Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.
For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by approximately half.
Why rear-facing is better.
Very young children are especially at risk for head and spinal cord injuries because their bones and ligaments are still developing. Their heads are also proportionately larger (around 25% of total weight for a 12 month child). Rear-facing seats give the best support to your child's head, neck, and spine, and prevent your child's head from being thrown away from his body in the event of a car crash. Rear-facing car seats are not only far more effective at preventing fatal injuries (as well as those that could permanently disable a child), but they're also much better at protecting your child's arms and legs. The safest seat option position is rear-face and it reduces the risk to get injured by 90%.
Buckle children in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts on every trip no matter how short.
Read our publication Protect your precious passenger!
Never leave your child unattended in your car.
Your child can suffer from heat stroke!
- The temperature inside a vehicle can rise to almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes?
- A child's body heats up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult's body.
- Even a few minutes of heat exposure can be dangerous for a child.
- Even with windows rolled down the temperature will rise quickly!
Never leave your child unattended in your car.
- Children can put a car in motion by moving the gear shift or by playing with the brakes.
- Children can leave the car and wander off.
- Children can roll up the power windows on themselves causing suffocation and even death.
- Never let your child play in the car!
If you have to leave the car, even for a minute, always take your children with you!
Read our publication Protect your precious passenger! 2
Warning for balloons!
Never give balloons or latex gloves to kids younger than 8 years old.
- A child who is blowing up or chewing on balloon or gloves can choke by inhaling them.
- When balloons deflates or burst, they can choke your child.
- Suffocation or choking can also occur if children suck the rubber into their mouths to make bubbles.
- Never tie a rubber balloon onto the side of a cot or pram/stroller.
- Keep young children out of reach of balloons.
- Ensure any strings attached to balloons are shorter than 22 cm so they not are a strangulation hazard.
- Dispose of any burst balloons.
Use a small part cylinder.
Small children examine things by putting them in their mouth. Therefor there is a risk that small toys or small parts from toys and other products get stuck in your child’s throat or get sucked into the lungs. Your child can get injuries on the airways or get choked.
Try all toys and small parts in the cylinder. If they go completely into the cylinder, then they are dangerous to your child. Things that do not go into the cylinder can still be dangerous to put in the mouth. Small balls and other round things that can block the air flow.
With a small part cylinder you can check all small things that could be dangerous for your child to put in her/ his mouth. The Small Part Cylinder has the same size as a three year old child’s windpipe.
Playgrounds and bicycle helmets don’t mix good!
Be sure to teach your children to remove their helmets before using playground equipment or climbing trees!
There are cases of young children suffering death or \severe brain damage as a result of hanging by the straps of their bicycle helmets when they played on playgrounds or climbing trees.
Never have a child on your lap while riding in either the front or the back seat.
- Having a child on your lap or holding a baby in your arms while riding in a car is dangerous!
- In an accident the child can be crushed between you and the vehicle’s dashboard
- Can be violently catapulted out of your arms hitting the dashboard or the windscreen or thrown out towards the windscreen.
Seated in the back seat, your child can hit the back of the front seat with a force of 30 times his/her body weight.
Avoid Small Parts!
Avoid marbles, coins, balls, and games with balls that are 1.75 inches (4.4 centimeters) in diameter or less because they can become lodged in the throat above the windpipe and restrict breathing
Stuffed toys like teddy bears and cuddly dolls may seem harmless, but their eyes, nose, hair, buttons are often small enough to choke your child. The filling in stuffed toys can also cause injury and illness. Foam toys are not recommended for children under three years of age.
While many stuffed toys seem safe, if some parts of a toy are not attached securely, they can pose a choking risk for your child.
Children under three years old can suffer serious injuries or illness when playing with stuffed toys if they:
- choke on small parts or filling that they have placed in their mouths or inhaled
- swallow small parts or filling.
Be Visible Be Safe!
Use a pedestrian reflector!
The reflectors have in fact been used all over Scandinavia for over 40 years and have proved to cut down the number of accidents between pedestrian and motor vehicle to half. Today personal pedestrian reflectors are used in many countries in the world and they are a cheap life insurance!
More children between the ages 5-14 die as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle than from any other cause, natural or accidental.
Children and youngsters are the most vulnerable of the pedestrians.
Small children because of their size and that their cognitive and perceptual abilities not are fully developed.
Elderly children and youngsters because they often are distracted by headsets, mobile phones and walking in groups talking and not focusing on the traffic, they also are more often out on the streets in the evening after nightfall.
Pedestrian reflectors can make it much safer and help prevent accidents where children and traffic meets.
A person walking in lowlight conditions, wearing dark clothes is first seen approximately 20-30 meters. In light clothes 60 meters, when it rains even less. With a reflector 125 meters. The reflector is best seen if it sits low and moves. To wear a Pedestrian Reflector is the cheapest life insurance. A Reflector Saves Lives!
Things to consider when you buy a toy to your child.
Things to consider.
Pick age-appropriate toys.
Choose toys suitable for your child’s age, abilities and skill level.
Be sure to follow the age recommendation – particularly the 0 to 3 symbol and the text not suitable for children under 36 months.
Look for toys marked with CE –Label.
The CE mark is a commitment from the toy maker that the toy complies with all EU safety rules, which are amongst the strictest in the world.
Burns is one of the most common injuries among small children.
Use a stove guard if you don’t have a stove guard, then you can put the pots at the back at the hotplates on the stove and turn the handles backwards so your child can’t reach them and drag the pots down over themselves.
Store your plastic bags in a drawer high up so your child can’t reach them. Plastic bags are very dangerous for small children to play with. They can suffocate if they put the plastic bag over their head.
Getting scaled is one of the most common injury among small children.
Never drink hot coffee or tea with a small child in your lap or while you holding a small child in your arms.
Place cups/mugs containing hot drinks such as tea and coffee in the centre of the table.
Keep Children away from hot drinks!
One of the most frequent types of injuries among babies and small children are fall accidents.
If your baby is on a surface like a change table or a bed, always keep a hand on him/her. As he grows, you might not even know he can roll over until he rolls off the bed or another piece of furniture. Never leave a baby alone on the changing table. The safest place to change your baby is on the floor.
Why do Finnish babies sleep in a box?
All children in Finland, no matter what background they're from, every child get an equal start in life.
Ever since 1938, the Finnish state has offered expectant mothers a cash grant, or a box full or items useful for the first few months of a bay's life. In so doing, the Fin's created a system in which infant and maternal mortality rates fell and they remains one of the lowest in the world.