Top Ten Accidents

The majority of injuries to children are unintentional; events that are often described as "accidents". Unintentional injuries account for about 96% of injury hospital admissions and about 90% of injury deaths in children up to 14 years of age. Most unintentional injuries are both predictable and preventable and result from a lack of child safety.

Transport related injury and drowning are the leading causes of injury related death for children aged 1 to 14 years in Australia. Falls and transport related injury are the two leading causes of injury related hospital admission.

The following is a list of the top 10 accidents for children and safety tips on preventing them:

  1. Car Passengers - children not using restraints are five times more likely to be killed or injured.
    • Every child should be in a child restraint on every trip
    • Child restraints must be properly fitted and used
  2. Pedestrians - children need time to develop a road sense and to learn and obey road rules. Children under 8 are at the greatest risk.
    • Provide a safe place for your child to play away from the roadside and traffic.
    • Keep reinforcing road safety behavior to your child.
  3. Poisoning - poison presents common safety hazards for young children.
    • Medicines, household cleaners and products must be kept out of sight and out of reach preferably in a child-restraint cupboard or under lock and key.
  4. House fires - the major risk is that a baby or child may be overcome by smoke.
    • Install smoke alarms – fire brigades can advise on location
    • Have a safety schedule - check the batteries in smoke alarms weekly
    • Talk to your child about what to do in the case of a fire
  5. Falls – the single largest cause of child injury
    • Install safety rails or guards for steps, stairs and balconies
    • Put ‘soft’ fall material under play equipment
    • Supervise your baby or child when using baby furniture
  6. Drowning - the single biggest danger to children under 5 years of age
    • Fence around pools and spas and check safety gates regularly
    • Stay with young children when they are in the bath and during other kids activities around water
  7. Nursery Furniture – baby furniture is a common cause of injury to children under two – especially from falls.
    • Buy products safe for kids that are sturdy and well made: look for the Australian Standards sticker.
    • Always use a safety harness. If there isn’t one, buy one separately.
  8. Dog bites – Each day 2 or 3 children are taken to hospital because of dog bites. Around 75% of these are bitten by a family or friend’s dog.
    • Talk to your children about the dangers of patting dogs unfamiliar to them
  9. Scalds – a major cause of long term damage to children Keep cups of hot drinks well out of reach
    • Hot water from the tap can scald in seconds. Check the bathroom hot water is below 50 degrees Celsius. Kidsafe or a plumber can tell you how
  10. Bikes, inline skates & skateboards – most injuries from boards or bikes result from falls
    • Helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by 90%
    • Teach children how to ride and to stop and start safely. Show them safe places where they can practice and set rules for where they can ride and skate