As a Midwife and Nurse I have seen many children admitted to Hospital from ccidents that could have been prevented. Most of them happen in a second like a cup of hot coffee being knocked off a table or a baby falling from a bed. It is hard to protect our children from every potential injury but there are some precautions we can take.

I have listed some of the injury data from the Safe Kids, Water Safety and ACC web sites.


  • Around 130 New Zealanders die in the water every year.


  • On average, in New Zealand, one child a day is hospitalised after being accidentally poisoned.
  • Poisoning is the second most common cause of injury-related hospital admission for children aged 0 – 4 years.
  • Eighty percent (80%) of children poisoned are aged under five years.
  • Medications and drugs are the most common agents involved in childhood poisoning, followed by household chemicals and cleaners.

Childhood Falls

  • Falls are the leading cause of preventable injury to New Zealand’s children.
  • Every year, on average, 4800 children are injured severely enough from a fall that they need to be hospitalised.
  • Playground equipment related injuries account for 32% of all fall-related hospital admissions for children.
  • On average, two children will die from a fall-related injury every year.

Child Pedestrian Injury

  • Pedestrian injury is a leading cause of death and injury to New Zealand children.
  • An average 14 child pedestrians die each year and more than 200 are hospitalised with injuries.
  • Some children injured require ongoing rehabilitation and treatment.

Childhood Burn Injury

  • Around 330 children are hospitalised every year with burns from hot water, food, drinks, fire and electrical appliances.

Child Passenger Injury

  • From 1998 – 2002 96 children were killed on New Zealand roads while riding in motor vehicles – some of them unrestrained by child car restraints or safety belts.

For information please see the below web sites:

Fire safety

This extensive site provides information about the NZ Fire Service, their role, equipment, latest news, recruitment, building requirements, latest fire safety campaigns and publications.

Flying with Kids

Advice from parents, for parents about flying with a baby or small child in tow. The essential ‘how-to’ infant flying guide.

Injury Prevention

The goal of the Injury Prevention Research Unit is to contribute to reducing the incidence, severity and consequences of injury in New Zealand. The IPRU is based in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine in the Dunedin School of Medicine within the Health Sciences Division of the University of Otago.

Land Transport Authority

Land Transport NZ’s objective is to contribute to an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system.

The Young New Zealanders’ Foundation

Safer Streets is dedicated to creating safer communities for young people in a society where they are valued, nurtured and helped to reach their goals.


Water Safety New Zealand Inc (WSNZ) ensures that water education safety needs of the community are met.

Pool Safety

This website is a component of the ACC Pool Safe programme, developed by Water Safety New Zealand and ACC.


The ACC web site has a page on injury prevention. The goal of injury prevention is to reduce the incidence of injuries, their severity and costs and to develop a safety culture.


Plunket is New Zealand’s leading provider of well child and family health services in New Zealand.

Safe Kids

Safekids New Zealand is the child safety service of Starship Children’s Health, and was established by the hospital’s Trauma Services in the early 1990s. The aim of the service was, and still is to reduce the numbers of children who are admitted to hospitals, or killed by preventable injuries. Since its inception the injury death rate for New Zealand children has fallen by 12%.

About the Author

Article by Helen Pulford (Midwife and Childbirth Educator) owner of:
directory for pregnancy, childbirth and parenting web sites.
childbirth education resources.

This article has a copyright and cannot be reprinted without permission.

BabyWebNZ is a web site linking you to other web sites related to pregnancy, childbirth, baby care and parenting. BabyWebNZ has no control over the content or accuracy of these web sites.

Birth Resources provides information but it is not a substitute for professional midwifery or medical care. You should always seek the advice of your midwife, doctor or health professional for any concerns you may have regarding your health.

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