St John takes safety into schools

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Ev­ery week more than 135 chil­dren are hos­pi­talised in New Zealand for a range of un­in­ten­tional in­juries, more than half of them the re­sult of falls. Last month more than 12,000 young­sters around the coun­try learned how to avoid adding to that statis­tic, cour­tesy of the ASB St John in Schools pro­gramme.

The ‘Make it Safe May’ injury pre­ven­tion mod­ules, de­vel­oped by St John in part­ner­ship with ACC, focused on the four lead­ing causes of child injury re­quir­ing hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion — burns, poi­son, falls/slips and ‘wa­ter in­ci­dents.’

Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­nity Health Ser­vices Sarah Man­ley said on av­er­age St John treated and trans­ported more than 70 chil­dren (birth to 18) to a med­i­cal fa­cil­ity or hos­pi­tal ev­ery week af­ter falls or slips, more than a quar­ter of them re­sult­ing in frac­tures.

“St John is called to far too many pre­ventable in­ci­dents in­volv­ing chil­dren, and we have been work­ing with ACC to de­liver be­spoke mod­ules with the hope of re­duc­ing the num­ber of child hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions due to un­in­ten­tional injury,” she said.

“We have been coach­ing Kiwi kids how to avoid th­ese com­mon in­ci­dents by teach­ing them how to iden­tify po­ten­tial risks at home and at school, how to make safe de­ci­sions, the im­por­tance of know­ing what we put in our mouths, and keep­ing dan­ger­ous items out of reach.”

St John and ACC had also de­vel­oped an in­ter­ac­tive on­line ac­tiv­ity to teach chil­dren how to make their home safe (avail­able free at safe­ty­champ).

Ac­cord­ing to Safekids Aotearoa, Ma¯ori were over-rep­re­sented in pae­di­atric hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions, with 29 per cent of un­in­ten­tional injury cases. In a bid to re­duce that statis­tic St John was look­ing into trans­lat­ing injury pre­ven­tion mod­ules into te reo Ma¯ori.

ACC’s Head of Injury Pre­ven­tion, Isaac Carlson, said ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren about injury pre­ven­tion was one of sev­eral ini­tia­tives that were crit­i­cal to chang­ing be­hav­iour around be­ing safe and tak­ing mea­sured risk.

“As kids gain the skills to iden­tify haz­ards in real-life sit­u­a­tions they learn to as­sess and re­spond to risks. The more they do that the more they learn to man­age risk well. What they gain is a life­long skill, not only for their ben­e­fit but for the ben­e­fit of their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties as well,” he said.


The chil­dren at South Auck­land’s Wiri Cen­tral School have be­come the proud cus­to­di­ans of an AED.

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