Students spread safety message about preventing child falls

Students spread safety message about preventing child falls

Source: The University of Waikato

Kids falling off the monkey bars at school is often seen as part of growing up. But some child falls can lead to serious head or spinal injuries, or even be fatal.

More than 4,000 children under 15 are hospitalised in New Zealand every year due to serious injuries caused by a fall.

Now a group of event management students from the University of Waikato’s Management School have partnered up with Midland Trauma System (MTS) to teach parents and kids about simple things they can do to reduce the risk of falls at home or school.

As part of the campaign, families and teachers are encouraged to come along to several fun-filled events happening in Hamilton next week that have a serious safety message: kids don’t always bounce back after a fall.

The activities will range from ‘Sammie’s Safety Olympics’ taking place at YWCA Hamilton on 23 May, through to a family fun day with ‘Gru’s Safety Crew’ at the Hamilton Lake on 27 May.

There will also be an inter-school teachers’ quiz night at the Marist Rugby Club, and a number of special events involving the pupils of five local primary schools, including a ‘falls prevention boot camp’ for kids.

Midland Trauma System (MTS) is a network of specialist healthcare professionals who aim to reduce the high rate of hospital admissions caused by falls in the 0-14 age group. MTS is a joint initiative of the central North Island’s five district health boards with management of the regional database held at Waikato DHB.

“Over 600 children were admitted to hospitals in the Midland Region last year as a result of falls and these rates are  rising steadily,” says Dr Grant Christey, Trauma Director at Midland Trauma System and Waikato DHB.

“Most injuries occur in the afternoon and mostly at home. On average, patients stay in hospital for two days at a cost to the hospital of over $3000 per admission. The added cost of pain and suffering, time off school and missed opportunities for children is enormous” says Dr Christey.

“We may not be able to prevent all injuries but there are plenty of simple things we can do to reduce the risks.”

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