One Victorian child dies every 12 days due to a preventable injury

Leading child safety agency Kidsafe Victoria has launched a new campaign, ‘Nothing is Everything’, in a bid to raise awareness of unintentional childhood injuries and deaths.

The campaign comes as statistics show the number of childhood injury deaths continues to rise in Victoria.

Between 2017 and 2019, an average of 17 children lost their lives each year due to preventable injuries. This number rose significantly in 2020, reaching 29 deaths, and increased further to 31 deaths in 2021.

Common causes of unintentional injury death for children in 2021 included drowning, driveway runovers, curtain and blind cord suffocations, quad bike injuries and house fires.

General manager of Kidsafe Victoria Jason Chambers highlighted how quickly unintentional injuries and deaths can happen, and the impact that they have on families and the wider community.

“A split second is all it takes for children to get into trouble around hazards such as driveways, button batteries, bodies of water, curtain and blind cords, and poisons, but that few seconds can lead to a lifetime of devastation,” Mr Chambers said.

“These statistics are not just numbers – they represent real families whose lives are forever changed and forever impacted.”

The ‘Nothing is Everything’ campaign highlights the world which Kidsafe Victoria aims to create – a world where nothing bad happens to kids – by reminding everyone of the little things that can be done to help prevent unintentional injuries and death.

Kidsafe Victoria’s top 10 tips to help make your home kid safe:

– Secure furniture such as bookcases, drawers, and televisions so they cannot fall or tip on children.

– Use safety gates or barriers on areas children shouldn’t access alone e.g. at the top and bottom of stairs and kitchen areas if possible.

– Secure curtain and blind cords so they are not a strangulation hazard.

– Restrict unsupervised access to water hazards such as pools, baths and dams, and actively supervise babies and children around water at all times.

– Supervise children around driveways at all times and separate play spaces from driveways where possible.

– Place poisonous items up high out of the sight and reach of children – including when staying at a hotel or holiday rental.

– Install locks on cupboards, dishwashers and anywhere else children may try to reach that they shouldn’t.

– Make sure your water delivery temperature in the bathroom is turned down to 50C to help prevent burns.

– Check your home for button batteries and products that use them, and keep them out of reach.

– Create a safe play area for your child away from hazards – somewhere you can safely leave them for a couple of minutes while you check on dinner or go to the toilet.