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Safe Kids Week 2016

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Safe Kids Week, a national awareness campaign to bring attention to predictable and preventable injuries in children. Across Canada, Safe Kids Week 2016 is being celebrated from May 30 to June 5, 2016.

What many might not know is that preventable injuries kill more children and youth every year in New Brunswick than any other disease. The NB Trauma program is also concerned with the numbers of injuries that occur with individuals in this age group even though we have made some notable improvements over the past two decades. According to NB data, the number of children aged 14 and under who were admitted in the province's largest tertiary care hospital due to significant injuries reached an average of 14 per year during the beginning of last decade. Thankfully, those numbers have declined to an average of less than 5 children per year for the beginning of this decade. Unfortunately, there are also too many children who are killed due to injury every year in New Brunswick. The NB Trauma Program is committed to continue to work with Parachute, Canada's national injury prevention organisation, and other stakeholders to help reduce the impact of preventable injuries in children. Together, we still have work to do.

This year we look to continue our work by focusing our efforts to help raise awareness of common childhood injuries 'At Home, At Play, and On the Road'. The goal is not to scare people into bubble wrapping their kids and avoiding any participation in sports and leisure activities. We want to encourage children to be physically active while they have fun and play with friends and family, but we would much rather that those activities are done with safety in mind.

 

Most of today's safety professionals believe that the best solution is to encourage individuals to take smart risks. This means recognising the different risks that are associated with an activity and consciously choosing to manage that risk in order to help prevent injuries. Of course since children are oftentimes unable to recognise the risks of injuries, this responsibility also falls on parents and caregivers. There are a several easy steps we can all take to keep children safe. At home this includes, keeping medications, cleaning products and other potential poisons away from a child's reach to help prevent poisonings. At play, removing clothing that might get caught in playground equipment like drawstrings and scarves is a simple but important way to control risks. Finally, wearing a properly fitted helmet for activities like cycling and skateboarding is an essential step to prevent head injuries on the road.

Risk is part of life. While we can't eliminate them all, please remember that most unintentional injuries are not 'accidents', they are in fact predictable and preventable. For more information and resources about injury prevention, please visit Parachute's website at www.parachutecanada.org .

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