Homes a death trap for children
An Auckland family’s lives changed forever after their son tipped boiling water over himself.
It was two weeks before Jack Dragicevich’s third birthday and he had just got out of the bath when he heard the microwave beep.
Being the inquisitive boy he is Jack opened the microwave and pulled a bowl of steaming hot vegetables down his front. The accident happened in August 2008 leaving him with third degree burns.
His dad Paul Dragicevich said it changed the family forever.
‘‘Jack suffered from third degree burns across 11 per cent of his body, from his neckline to his belly button,’’ Dragicevich said.
‘‘It was one of those accidents you don’t see coming and life never really got back to normal.’’
Jack, who is now 11 years old, is helping launch national child safety organisation Safekids’ new campaign called Whare, which aims to raise awareness about dangers to children at home.
Every year about 50 children under five years old are killed and nearly 3000 are hospitalised from injuries caused at home. Home injuries of children under five years old are also a huge cost to the New Zealand economy, accounting for $29 million in ACC claims a year.
Safekids director Ann Weaver said the interactive exhibition, has been built to depict a real house and provides education on topics including burns, drowning, suffocation, poisoning, cutting, driveway runovers and swallowing.
‘‘We invite whanau to visit our house, to touch, experience, have a conversation and take away important lessons on what they can do to prevent children from being seriously injured in their own homes,’’ Weaver said.
The Whare will be on display at Auckland City Hospital from December 6 to 9 and will visit 10 regions throughout New Zealand in 2017.
Jack spent seven weeks in hospital, undergoing surgery five times. He has continued having surgery because the scar tissue doesn’t stretch as he grows.
Despite the accident and permanent scars, Jack is a confident boy.
‘‘He doesn’t let his scars effect him,’’ Dragicevich said.
Shopping trolleys are taking on a whole new life in the New Zealand Dance Company’s latest performance. For much of December the company is performing Shaun Parker’s Trolleys in Aotea Square as part of Auckland Live Summer in the Square.
Photo gallery p4.