What can we do?
The strategies that adopt a combined approach, where enforcement and environmental change are backed up by an effective programme of education and training, are the most effective.
This can, for instance, be achieved by making mandatory child resistant packaging for household chemicals and making sure that parents and carers are informed about the urgency of such measures and the need for continued vigilance. The same applies to measures relating to temperature controls on water heaters to reduce scalds, window guards to reduce falls, smoke alarms to allow timely escape from fumes and flames, traffic calming to reduce pedestrian injuries, child passenger restraints to reduce motor vehicle related injuries and bicycle helmets to reduce head injuries.
Many countries in Europe have not yet fully capitalised on this knowledge, leaving ample opportunities to significantly reduce the toll of accidents in children. EuroSafe, and its Child Safety Alliance, concentrates on promoting the wider application of safety practices that are proven to be effective.
The scope of work includes:
- Education and promotional initiatives and campaigns
- Innovation in creating safer environments for children and adolescents
- Capacity building through strategic development of national action plans
The European Child Safety Alliance’s primary audiences are European and national decision makers, leaders, and practitioners who can influence public policy, the design of urban and rural environments and community development to reduce deaths and injuries of children from 0 to 18 years of age.
In partnership with the national child safety agencies in each Member State, promotion of information on good practices will also be communicated to parents, caregivers, decision makers, and national media to increase awareness and knowledge of current childhood injury issues.
The Alliance serves as the European catalyst through which national and international networks and activities are facilitated to:
- translate and communicate research evidence and evaluations on child and adolescent injury prevention into clear information and key messages for consistent use across Europe.
- advocate synergistically at both a European and national level about the importance of child and adolescent injury prevention and safety promotion, especially to the decision makers and politicians;
- mediate the different interests in society regarding injury prevention and safety promotion, with coordinated actions by all concerned: governments, health and other social and economic sectors, non-governmental and voluntary organisations, local authorities, business, and the media;
- create supportive environments with diverse stakeholders which promote and support physically and mentally fit children and adolescents, including the prevention of injury;
- strengthening national level actions and building capacity through empowering injury prevention stakeholders and citizens to take an active role in safety promotion using evidence based measures.