The child injures session at the Injury Summit 2017 highlighted numerous priority areas and concerns for those working within the sector. There was an agreeance that the incidence of child injuries was much higher within high risk populations, one being those living in regional WA. Highlighting that more work needs to be done within these hard to reach groups to prevent child injuries from occurring.
The social culture and perception of child injuries is often challenged by the public, as the line between prevention and ‘over protection’ can be murky. Increasing the understanding of child safety is paramount to the acceptance and uptake of injury prevention strategies in the community. As stated by Todd Dawson from Goodstart Early Learning “injury is everyone’s responsibility”.
Current programs, such as the Constable Care Safety School has seen two major elements work well in injury prevention education. Firstly, the program is a fully functional environment for children to participate and learn in with other children. Secondly, there are risks in the environment which they can interact and react with. This participation and involvement directly targeting the children, increases their engagement with, and retention of the injury prevention messages and behaviours.
Also discussed was the current lack of sharing information and data between government departments and organisations. Consultation and collaboration between organisations and with families and communities is key for ensuring messages are evidence-based, purposeful and relevant to the target population. Keeping these injury prevention and safety messages consistent was considered to be the most important factor in ensuring the messages will be well received and will stick.
Moderator: Jessica McKenna, Kidsafe WA
Scott Phillips, CEO, Kidsafe WA
David Gribble, CEO, Constable Care Foundation
Todd Dawson, State Manager, Goodstart Early Learning