Prevention

Keeping our children out of hospital

We believe in keeping our children safe and healthy in their community. You enable initiatives, research and innovation that prevent hospitalisation and foster wellness.

Prevention

At least one child dies each week in New Zealand from injuries that could have been prevented. Last year more than 7,000 children had to spend 24 hours or more in hospital being treated for preventable, traumatic injury. SafeKids Aotearoa works hard to change those confronting statistics and with your support, we’re helping them do this in innovative new ways.

Using training, events, print, video and social media the team at SafeKids Aotearoa reached hundreds of thousands of New Zealand whānau in 2019 with advice on how to keep our children safe from common injuries like burns and scalds, driveway run-overs, preventable poisonings and more.

Safekids Aotearoa delivered training and events to more than 213,000 people in 2019 and their social media campaigns reached more than 268,000 people.   

 

Late in the year an exciting pilot programme got underway trialling the use of personal insulin pumps in children living with diabetes who don’t meet Pharmac’s current criteria to have this equipment funded.

The pilot, which involves five children, has already positively changed the lives of participants and holds great promise for even wider impact across New Zealand. The goal is to verify that access to this equipment will help our children living with diabetes to manage their condition better at home and ultimately reduce hospital visits.

2500 children and young people live with diabetes in New Zealand

By supporting Noho Ahuru’s Healthy Homes initiative we are committed to making a difference for the whānau of around 15,000 vulnerable infants and children who are admitted to Starship every year with illnesses related to poverty, and cold, damp homes. Having a warmer, drier and healthier home can prevent re-admissions to hospital for these children and together, we’re making that happen.

Well-fitted curtains are key with up to 45% heat lost through windows. So, through 2019, the Habitat Curtain Bank, supported by Mercury, installed 885 curtains for 82 whānau referred because their children were suffering. Looking ahead we will support and advocate for a change in the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act to make curtains mandatory in rental properties to help keep our children well.

885 curtains installed for 82 whānau


“My youngest daughter has suffered from severe asthma for most of her life and last year was admitted to Starship with pneumonia. Since having the curtains installed she hasn’t been back to hospital. Winter was always a scary time for us, but this winter I know our house will be warmer and I don’t feel scared.” – Curtain Bank recipient, Blockhouse Bay

Helping keep our children out of hospital

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Every week 140 children are admitted to hospital with traumatic injuries from burns, driveway run-overs, poisoning and other common, preventable injuries.

With our support, Safekids Aotearoa is working hard to change this and to keep our children out of hospital and safe at home, at play and on the road.

Burns data helps to illustrate a key focus and area of impact. More than 260 children were admitted to hospital in recent years for an unintentional burn injury. However, when comparing ethnicity data to European children, Māori and Pacific children are three times more likely to suffer a burn-related injury.

These inequities are consistent across all injury categories. That’s why Safekids Aotearoa has a key area of focus in improving the unintentional injury inequities that exist for Māori tamariki and Pacific children.

And they’ve adapted their approach and adopted culturally relevant ways of developing and conveying injury prevention information.

“We’re bringing kaupapa Māori and cultural methodologies to everything we do in that space, for example involving whānau from the start, helping to create and to tell the safety message in forms they recognise and resonate with,” says director of Safekids Aotearoa, Melissa Wilson.

“Imagine if Māori and Pacific children were not more likely to be injured. Or that no children were hospitalised for an avoidable, traumatic injury. That’s our goal. And with your support, we’re doing everything possible to make those aspirations a reality.”

The impact of injury prevention work can be seen in the burns data for the population at large between 2009 and 2018. While the rate of hospital admissions for childhood burns in total decreased by 26 per cent, Māori and Pacific children remain three times more likely to suffer from adverse preventable injuries. All the more reason why, Safekids says, our children need this urgent, innovative and collaborative response.

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