SafeKids’ Whare, a travelling exhibition that will visit 10 regions throughout Aotearoa in 2017, will raise awareness about the leading injuries in tamariki; those that happen in the home- an issue particularly prevalent in Maori and Pacific communities.
With the hope of minimising preventable injuries in the home the large 10 x 2 metre exhibition, which looks like a real whare (house), is equipped with digital, interactive and artistic demonstrations.
These demonstrations show how to prevent falls, burns, swallowing of button batteries, cutting and piercing, drowning, poisoning, driveway runover injuries, as well as how to encourage safe sleeping.
On average 48 kiwi children under five years old are killed, and every month, 231 are hospitalised, from injuries in the home. Most of these injuries happen before a child’s fifth birthday.
The cost of injuries occurring in the home for children under five years old is also a huge burden to the economy — ACC claims amount to $29M per year.
Auckland DHB CEO Ailsa Claire in her address at the launch of the opening of the exhibition spoke about the unfavourable comparison of New Zealand to other westernised countries when it comes to accidents and issues that happen to children.
“Unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death for our children and this is really unacceptable,” said Claire, before emphasising that these unintentional injuries were most prevalent amongst Maori and Pacific communities.
Maori deaths make up 53% of all unintentional injury deaths, with Pacific deaths making up 9%, with the leading cause being suffocation injuries.
With hospital admissions being higher too, 29% of all unintentional injury admissions (2120 injuries) a year are Maori and Pacific with 960 injuries per year making up around 12%.
Safekids Aotearoa Director, Ann Weaver, acknowledged the issue and advised that the whare will be taken to communities that most need it.
“Partnering with communities, we invite whānau to visit ‘our house’, to touch, experience, have a conversation and take away important lessons on what they can do to prevent children from being seriously injured in their own homes,” says Weaver.
The Whare will be on display at Auckland City Hospital from 6-9 December 2016 and will go on a roadshow in 2017, visiting 10 regions around New Zealand as part of Safekids’ three-year home safety programme, in partnership with ACC.