… it is estimated that 320,000 children under the age of 15 are treated in hospital as a result of accidents, many of which are sustained within their homes and are preventable… .
Australia has become a contradiction in personal safety with extensive attention being paid to work, road safety and sporting safety, however, people become relaxed around the home which is traditionally is considered as a personal safe haven for the family.
At present injury to children and older Australians in their own homes is flying under the community radar and needs to be given a higher profile, similar to the road toll.
Homesafe Managing Director Robert Caulfield said, “Injury prevention in the home should become a national campaign in the policies of both major parties as part of the strategy to cut the toll of human suffering and maximise the use of Australia’s health budgets and medical services.”
Mr Caulfield said that in the lead up to the Easter period, road authorities highlighted the importance of road safety, and there were ongoing reports of the road toll to stress the danger to the community.
“A similar approach needs to be taken to injuries in the home.”
“Every year in Australia it is estimated that 320,000 children under the age of 15 are treated in hospital as a result of accidents, many of which are sustained within their homes. Children under five are most at risk.”
Mr Caulfield said the Homesafe Group focused on providing safety information, design, inspection and renovation services for Australian home owners to protect their children and also create a safer environment for older Australians through design.
“The majority of accidents are preventable through simple precautions such as isolating hazards – poisons and medications, or installing safety products to guard against them – stair gates.”
“Every injury prevented in the home saves struggling health budgets money year after year. In the case of falls, which transcends generations from babies and toddlers to grandparents, the cost to health budgets, apart from the human trauma, can be staggering,” Mr Caulfield said.
“The need to protect health budgets is clearly evident with cut backs to hospital waiting lists, lack of resources and a highly public political debate between Federal and State Governments.”
“In the case of older Australians, the cost of just falls in the home is estimated to be $1.5 billion annually.”
The Homesafe Group
The Homesafe Group was founded by architect Robert Caulfield, founder of Archicentre and a growing consortium of architects and safety professionals All design work is undertaken by members of the Australian Institute of Architects.
Home safety research is undertaken in conjunction with Kidsafe Victoria and Monash University Accident Research Centre.
Financial modelling and building technology research is undertaken with architects, engineers and quantity surveyors.