In January 2012, the organization B’Terem and child safety organization, published data on the number of accidental deaths among children in 2011. Of 106 children killed, almost half were in car accidents. The rest was due to mostly to drowning or choking. Most children were aged 0-4, and more than 60% were boys. In fact, in Israel, most of the deaths occurring in children are due to accidents.
Two-thirds of all child hospitalizations are due to leisure-time accidents.
As a mother of three active boys, I understand that it is difficult to prevent accidents from happening. We do our maximum to keep our children safe, but there are things beyond our control. Most of us are aware of important safety features in our house, like keeping all cleaning materials out of reach of toddlers, fencing off stairwells, or enclosing baby pools with a hard cover or fence. But many of our neighbors are unaware of other safety measures that could save a life. This summer, as the children will be spending more time in or around the house, you too can be an advocate in your own neighborhood:
- Start a bicycle helmet campaign. Join up with your local market place and ask them to support your cause. Use the youth of your neighborhood to give out tickets to any child they see riding a bike helmet. After ten tickets, they can redeem it for the prize at the local market. See the number of kids riding protected go up during your campaign!
- Road safety is a huge problem in Israel, a major cause of deaths and hospitalizations among children. Have your local camp ask the kids to work on posters that post speed limits and display them on street signs around the neighborhood. This will wake up the neighbors to the fact that they should be slowing down when driving through residential neighborhoods.
- Always drive with an extra car seat in your trunk. When you see someone waiting for a ride with a baby in arms, you’ll have an instant solution to their traveling “problem”.
We don’t have to be a big organization to change society; we can all take part in making little changes that add up to big changes.