Media Release | Medical staff awareness needed to reduce growing button battery injury risk

The Battery Controlled partnership was launched in New Zealand today to help raise awareness among parents and medical first responders, such as paramedics, practice nurses, GPs, A&M and hospital emergency department staff, on a little known issue that has serious and even fatal consequences to small children—the ingestion or insertion of powerful button batteries or coin‐ sized lithium batteries.  

When a child swallows or inserts a button battery in the nose or ears, it can get stuck in the throat, nose or ear canal. Saliva or secretions trigger an electrical current causing severe burns and tissue damage within 2 hours. This results in serious injury that may require surgery, or even the death of the child.

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Dark Days: Driveway Safety Reminders for Autumn, Winter

Safekids Aotearoa reminds parents of toddlers and young children to be extra vigilant around driveways during these shorter days and longer nights. 

“While driveway run overs happen more frequently during spring and summer, it can also easily happen during autumn and winter when it gets dark earlier,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa.

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Media Release | Consider the safety of children this Children’s Day

First proclaimed by the United Nations in 1954, Children's Day was created to encourage all countries to institute a day to initiate action that will benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children. In New Zealand Children's Day is officially held on the1st Sunday of March.

Safekids Aotearoa and the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee (CYMRC) – which operates under the umbrella of the Health Quality & Safety Commission – are encouraging families to celebrate the occasion by assessing how safe their children are at home, on the road, around moving vehicles, and in the presence of alcohol.

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Media Release | Back to School Safety Tips

Media Release | Back to School Safety Tips

As thousands of students march back to school within the next few weeks, Safekids Aotearoa shares valuable safety messages, whether they are riding the car, cycling, scootering or walking to school.

Safekids Aotearoa also asks drivers to be extra vigilant in watching out for children on the road.

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Picking the right gift for family and friends can be quite challenging. Don’t leave the shopping till the last minute, Safekids Aotearoa, the injury prevention service of Starship Children’s Health, has gift recommendations to help keep loved ones safe this holiday and summer season.

“The coming season is unfortunately also called the Trauma Season, due to the dramatic increase in preventable deaths and serious injuries to children,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa.

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Shopping for children’s gifts is a serious business. Not only do you need to think about what a child wants or needs, but you also need to weigh up the risks that could be attached to your choice.

Safekids Aotearoa, Energizer and Trading Standards (a unit of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) encourage adults to consider these six questions when buying gifts online or in store.

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Two‐thirds of AA Members are not sure when school‐age children should move from a booster seat to a normal seatbelt. This Friday the mandatory use of child restraints in vehicles will be extended by two years, with all children required to be correctly secured in an approved restraint until their seventh birthday – this includes booster seats.

However, regardless of their age, AA and child safety experts recommend that children stay in a booster seat until they reach 148cm in height. Seatbelts fit people who are 148cm and taller, which is why children need booster seats, raising them ‘up’ so that the adult size seatbelt fits them correctly.

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September is an exciting time for Kiwi families. Spring is in the air and Father’s Day is also celebrated this month. September however brings with it a number of injury risks‐‐one of the most serious is driveway run over injuries.  

“Every two weeks a child is hospitalised with serious injuries received from a vehicle driving on a private driveway in New Zealand. A further five children are killed annually, on average. Children at risk are aged between 1 and 3 years old,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa.

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Child safety advocates today acknowledged that the new car seat law requiring kids to use an appropriate child restraint up to their 7th birthday is a positive step forward in keeping children safe on New Zealand roads.

However, Safekids Aotearoa, doctors and a family whose children survived a horror car crash thanks to booster seats, reminds parents that age 7 is not a magic number, and that primary school kids are safer in a booster seat until they are 148cm tall.

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With injuries skyrocketing, a new program will start in time for summer that promotes helmet use and a safe scooter culture for students travelling to and from school.  

According to Safekids’ position paper Child Skateboard and Scooter Injury Prevention, the rise in popularity of scootering has been coupled with a sharp increase in scooter-related injury. ACC claims data show that injuries have doubled every year since 2008—from just 697 claims that year to a staggering 6,474 in 2012. Many of these injuries were severe enough to land children in hospital.

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