Safe homes and preventing injuries

Safe homes and preventing injuries

Every year 170,000 children in Israel are seen in ERs with injuries that could have been avoided. 24,000 are admitted and 100 die. Many of them are disabled for life. The problem is particularly serious in Arab communities where eight times as many preschoolers die from their injuries.

We work closely with B’Terem, an NGO based in the Center of Israel, which tackles the problem of childhood injuries.  One way they do this is through bedside counselling for families of children hospitalized with injuries, but we propose to take on the greater challenge of preventing injuries from occurring in the first place. Our approach has been to draw together a team of community ‘champions’ to work with parents and communities and make sure that homes and neighbourhoods are safe for children to grow up in.

The champions are trained how to work effectively with families to make them aware of every day dangers. The program is being piloted with Arab families in Nazareth and ultra-orthodox Jewish families in Safed, who are given a toolkit which includes guidance, socket protectors and fire alarms. It is run through daycare, kindergartens, and mother and child clinics, and is designed to meet the unique cultural and religious needs of these very different communities.

We now want to extend the program to other disadvantaged Arab and Jewish communities in the Galilee. Our aim is to raise parents’ awareness of the dangers in and around the home, and help communities ensure that there are safe play spaces for children in their neighbourhood.  

“ Sometimes from something that you would never think would cause harm a tragic event happens… Even the smallest thing that you wouldn’t think of can be the cause of the injury”

“I think a  lot of accidents happen around the house while kids are playing outside…In Sakhnin…They don’t have anywhere to play…We don’t have any parks or playgrounds….”

–  Two mothers from Sakhnin