Consumer Safety Institute - Netherlands Activities child safety 2018

Preface

Within our program 'Growing up safely' we try to achieve a safe start for all children and adolescents. To achieve this, we try to meet the needs and risks for each specific age group. In order to reduce injury we focus on protection and/or strengthening of physical, social and mental skills and risk competences. We aim at the most relevant settings (at home, school, in traffic and when going out with friends) in our attempt to prevent serious injuries and improve quality of life. We want all children and adolescents to be safe at home, in school/child care/kindergarden and on the road.

Prevention of injury in these target groups is important because home injuries and sports injuries are the cause of many medical treatments and high burden of disease. Home injuries occur number 1 in our national list of incidents with the highest burden of disease in children 0 – 15 years. ( Source: Hamberg-van Reenen & Meijer (red.), Gezond Opgroeien. Verkenning Jeugdgezondheid. 2014, RIVM)

The focus in our prevention strategy is on:

  • Protecting (mostly 0-4 year olds)
  • Teaching physical and social skills and risk competences in older groups.

Parents and care takers need to be informed and advices. Local health professionals and professionals working in child care/kindergarden and schools can help them. They can facilitate a safe environment and support parents by advising them on prevention measures needed.

Our main activities in 2018 are:

Expand existing method 'Growing up Safely' (=education of new parents 0-4 yrs on child safety issues through network of local health professionals with the help of theme specific information leaflets, both off- and online): development of digital online tool giving parents tailored advice. Child safety themes and prevention measures are explained in short online and tailored messages enhancing specific behaviours in parents in a positive way. Themes highlighted in 2018 will be the prevention of SIDS (because this a great fear in parents and health professionals get many questions on the subject) and safe transportation of young children in cars and on bicycles (because it is a practical issue for parents and because health professionals get many questions on i-size and how to transport a young child safely on a bike in the Dutch traffic situation).

Promote risky play: Next step in campaign launched in 2017. Campaign promotes risky play in children by aiming at parents. Special attention in 2018 for enhancing self efficacy in parents (when to intervene?) and coping with social norm (f.i. other parents disapproving of your attempts to enhance risky play in your child). We are also looking at expanding the campaign with advice on risky play aimed directly at young children (< 5 yrs). https://www.veiligheid.nl/risicovolspelen/home.

Support kinder gardens and schools: Advising and facilitating professionals in these settings on how to implement a structural policy on safety, health and wellbeing. We have developed an online tool called the "Risk monitor". Schools/kindergarden can access their safety policy with a checklist based on a set of indicators known to be of influence on safety, health and wellbeing. The tool gives advice on measures to take to improve the current situation and steps to take to imbed the measures in a structural safety policy.

Targets and target groups

Main target

Contribute to safe and healthy upbringing of children resulting in less injuries by:

  • Giving parents, care takers, professionals insight in the main risks and advising them on positive actions to prevent injury. For instance, making parents more aware of the importance of risky play on a child's development.
  • Promoting safe behaviour in parents/care takers.
  • Promoting the development of physical and social skills and risk competences in children.
  • Strengthening of skills in professionals by providing them with up to date information on child safety issues. Advising them on how to support parents by providing them with manuals, training, e-learning, online news letters, and educational material.

Target groups

To be able to achieve the main goals we aim at both parents and care takers, and at local health professionals, policy makers and other professionals such as teachers, pedagogical staff and school management.

Research

We monitor both the effects of our activities as the need for information in new parents and their appreciation of our materials. In 2017 target group research among 1.086 parents and 595 professionals showed:

  • Local health professionals needing a good mix of standardized leaflets on all child safety issues combined with online tools to be used during consultation moments with parents. They want to be educated and trained on the issues most new parents have questions about: safe sleeping, how to make your home safe for your new born, how to transport a child in a car of on a bicycle.
  • Pregnant women needing information on child safe homes, transportation of a child in a car and prevention of SIDS.
  • Parents of children 1-4 years needing information on safe play and water safety.

Most parents look for information on child safety

  1. online
  2. by asking advice of a health professional
  3. by asking advice of family and friends.

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