First proclaimed by the United Nations in 1954, Children's Day was created to encourage all countries to institute a day to initiate action that will benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children. In New Zealand Children's Day is officially held on the first Sunday of March.

Safekids Aotearoa and the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee (CYMRC) – which operates under the umbrella of the Health Quality & Safety Commission – are encouraging families to celebrate the occasion by assessing how safe their children are at home, on the road, around moving vehicles, and in the presence of alcohol.

“Children’s Day is not only a day for families to have fun together. It’s also a good opportunity to show children they are valued by making sure they are not exposed to risks that can cause lifelong or even fatal injuries,” says Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa.

Safety Messages:

  • Driveway safety: CHECK for children before driving off; always SUPERVISE children around vehicles; and SEPARATE play areas from driveways.
  • Passenger safety: It’s safer to wait till children are 148cm before they use an adult seatbelt. Make sure children are travelling in correctly installed child restraints that are right for their size, age and weight.
  • Cycling & scooter safety: Always make them wear a helmet and make sure it is worn correctly.
  • Safe sleeping: Babies are safest when sleeping on their backs so they can breathe unobstructed; in their own cot, bassinette, pepi pod or wahakura; and with no bedding that may cover their faces. Also ensure the person looking after a baby is sober and alert to their needs.

For more information about keeping children safe, visit www.safekids.org.nz and www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/mrc/cymrc/.

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