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Research

Childhood Injury

Unintentional injury is the largest cause of death for children aged 1-14 years in Australia, with more children dying due to injury than of cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined. Every year approximately 29 Victorian children die and a further 81,000 are treated in hospital as a result of unintentional injuries.

Common causes of child injury include falls, transport incidents, drowning, poisoning, burns and scalds and choking/suffocation.

For more information and statistics on various child injury topics, please view the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit website.

Children Left Unattended in Car Incidents: Victoria 2004 – 2009 (2010)

Children Left Unattended in Cars- Snapshot

Aim: To determine the number of children left unattended in car incidents in Victoria and identify any patterns or trends that can be utilised to form the basis of subsequent education campaigns.

Method: Data was obtained from the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) on the number of children left unattended in car incidents attended by emergency services organisations. Additional data was also obtained from the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV).

Results: The data showed that there had been an increase in the number of children left unattended in car incidents attended by emergency services over the 2004 – 2009 period. Data suggests that the majority of children left unattended in car incidents are ‘unintentional’.

Attitudes and usage of child restraints since the introduction of the new child restraint legislation – Part 1 (2010)

Aim: To determine Victorian parents attitudes towards and understanding of the new child restraint road rules, along with their usage of and any barriers towards the use of child restraints, 12 months after the introduction of the new child restraint road rules.

Method: Four focus groups were conducted (two in metropolitan Melbourne and two in regional Victoria) involving parents of children aged 0-7 years.

Results: Discussions from the four focus groups showed that there was some confusion amongst parents, particularly around when children are required to graduate to the next restraint. The majority of participants were supportive of the laws once they received some clarification, generally agreeing that not only did they make their children safer, but they were also simpler overall.

The full research report can be accessed here.

Attitudes and usage of child restraints since the introduction of the new child restraint legislation – Part 2 (2011)

Aim: To determine Victorian parents attitudes towards and understanding of the new child restraint road rules, along with the usage of child restraints for children aged 0-7 years.

Method: An online survey of 539 participants with children aged up to eight years was conducted.

Results: Almost all participants were aware that the new child restraint laws existed, however there was some confusion around the extent and the specific requirements of the laws. Results showed that participants with infants up to 12 months of age had the highest levels of compliance with the child restraint laws, while those with children aged four years and over had the lowest levels of compliance.

The full research report can be accessed here.