Western Australian children will benefit from a State Government commitment of $1.64million to fund child safety and injury prevention programs until 2010.
Speaking at the WA Launch of National Kidsafe Day, Communities Minister Sue Ellery said that it was important to raise community awareness around issues of child safety and injury prevention.
“When you consider that the leading cause of death among children is injury, you can appreciate the importance of awareness-raising initiatives like National Kidsafe Day,” Ms Ellery said.
“Each year around 50 Western Australian children die, 8,000 are admitted to hospital and more than 25,000 young people aged 14 years and younger present to a metropolitan emergency department as a result of an injury.”
A 2003 joint study between the Department of Health and The University of Western Australia found that injuries to children aged nine and younger incurred direct health care costs of $28.5million.
Injuries to young people aged 10 to 19-years cost the community an additional $65.9million in direct health costs.
The Minister said that while some level of injury among young people was to be expected, many injuries were unnecessary and could be prevented through risk awareness and strategies to minimise potential harm.
The most common contributing factors to child injury are parental inattention; lack of awareness around injury risks and environmental factors and behaviours in the home; unsafe products; giving children certain toys before they have the motor skills and co-ordination to use them safely; and lack of supervision in a risk environment.
An initiative of Kidsafe WA, National Kidsafe Day places child injury prevention on the public agenda and seeks to stimulate public action to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
National Kidsafe Week, which features Kidsafe Day, is being held from October 8-12.
Minister's office - 9213 7150