Name: Country: Submission date:

Submission date:
Safety Centre, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
February 2012
Barbara Minuzzo Senior Project Coordinator, [email protected]
Helen Rowan Manager Family Services, [email protected]
Lisa King Family Support Project Worker [email protected]
The Safety Centre at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) was established in 1979 with an aim
to reduce the frequency and severity of unintentional injuries in children. Since established, the
Safety Centre has led a strong and strategic approach in the promotion of safety and the
prevention of unintentional injuries. Since 1999, the Safety Centre has been accredited as an
Affiliate Safe Community Support Centre by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion at Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
The Safety Centre continues to work and build collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders
throughout Victoria and Australia. This collaborative approach sees the Safety Centre working
with a wide range of state government departments, non-government organisations, industry
and community groups to reduce unintentional childhood injuries.
Since the beginning of 2011, the Safety Centre has engaged in two new partnerships: The
Water Safety Group which aims to reduce injury and deaths around water and the Driveway
Safety Working Group to improve child safety and reduce injury and deaths around driveways.
Driveway Safety Working Group
Membership of the Driveway Safety Working Group consists of representatives from: The Office
of the Child Safety Commissioner, The Royal Children's Hospital Safety Centre and Trauma
Department, Coronial Services, Kidsafe Victoria, Department of Health, and Victorian road
safety authorities. This working group was established after an increase in the incidence of
young children being run over by reversing vehicles in residential driveways. The current
strategy has seen three sub working groups developed to focus further on:
1. Education
2. Safer vehicle design
3. Safer property design
The outcome is the development of a multifaceted prevention strategy which includes key
stakeholder communication and a mass media campaign. The working group hopes to
strengthen the awareness of safer driveway policies and practices and begin a mass media
campaign from April 2012.
Transportation of Children with Additional Needs (TOCAN)
The TOCAN partnership was established by the Safety Centre in 2009. Working group
members include representatives from The Royal Children’s Hospital Safety Centre,
Occupational Therapy and Paediatric Rehabilitation departments, the School of Occupational
Therapy at Latrobe University, Autism Victoria, the Association for Children with a Disability,
Road safety authorities including VicRoads, Royal Automobile Club of Victoria, the Australian
Child Restraint Resource Initiative and Britax. The strategy has been to research the needs of
families and community practitioners in order to develop consistency in information for
dissemination to practitioners.
Victorian Burns Prevention Partnership (VBPP)
The VBPP members include representatives from the two Victorian fire services, the
Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB) and Country Fire Authority (CFA), the
Alfred Hospital’s Victorian Adult Burns Service and The Royal Children’s Hospital Burns Unit
and Safety Centre. The VBPP current strategy is a nationally distributed newsletter, print media
advertising, research and advocacy for legislative change.
Victorian Safe Communities Network (VSCN)
The Safety Centre is both the cofounder and secretariat of VSCN. VSCN is an incorporated
association of practitioners, researchers and policy makers who work in community safety
throughout Victoria.
VSCN’s major achievement of 2011 was the national conference titled Young People, Risk and
Resilience: The challenges of alcohol, drugs and violence. This conference was conducted in
conjunction with the Australian Institute of Criminology and attracted over 250 delegates.
VSCN coordinated the Victorian safety promotion and injury prevention sector’s response to the
Department of Health’s Injury Prevention Policy and Strategy.
Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network (PPSCN Regional Alliance)
The Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network (PPSCN) is a network of safe communities of
Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. The goal of PPSCN is to address
safety issues and improve the implementation of effective safety promotion and injury
prevention practices within the Pan Pacific region.
Drowning Prevention Working Group
Membership of the Drowning Prevention Working Group consists of representatives from The
Royal Children’s Hospital Safety Centre, Life Saving Victoria, Kidsafe Victoria, Department of
Justice and LOTE Marketing. The working group’s current strategy is to utilize media, including
radio, television and magazine articles to disseminate drowning prevention messages. These
messages have been in English and several other languages.
Efforts to reduce deaths resulting from drowning have seen a consistent decline over the last
decade. In Victoria, Australia, 54 deaths were recorded between 2000-2001 and these have
been reduced to 38 deaths between 2009-2010.
Community Support
Support to Accredited Safe Communities
Throughout 2011 the Safety Centre has continued to provide significant support to encourage
Victorian communities to become accredited as part of the worldwide Safe Communities
Network. The City of Frankston has demonstrated a keen interest in the Safe Communities
Network and attaining accreditation.
The Safety Centre has further continued to support Accredited Safe Communities including the
cities of Melbourne, Hume, La Trobe, Geelong and Casey.
Sustainable Programs/Local Government
During 2011, the Safety Centre has undertaken a number of new initiatives in efforts to develop
sustainable programs to improve child safety and reduce the incidence of unintentional injuries.
Looking ahead for the next 5 years, the Safety Centre has developed a Strategic Plan to
provide guidance, direction and priorities areas. The Safety Centre will be focusing on the
development and strengthening key partnerships to further promote child injury prevention.
These key partnerships will target road safety, drowning prevention, burns prevention, choking
and suffocation prevention, falls prevention and dog bite prevention. The Safety Centre will also
continue to support communities through its role as an Affiliate Safe Community Support
Centre, the secretariat for the Victorian Safe Communities Network and as a member of the
Community Safety Month Advisory Committee, the Victorian Local Government Multicultural
Issues Network, the Communities That Care and the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network.
TOCAN Workshop
Safety Centre staff coordinated a successful Health Practitioners workshop in March on the
Transportation of Children and Youth with Additional Needs (TOCAN). Issues relating to the
safe transportation of children with additional needs have continued to be a significant concern
for community professionals. The workshop covered topics including: disability definitions and
common challenges associated with transportation, and the role of Occupational Therapists, the
Victorian Road Standards, crash dynamics and methods for restraining children, government
funding options, case studies and group discussions.
Over 140 Health Practitioners attended the full day workshop. The workshop evaluation
recorded that 91.7% of participants strongly agreed or agreed that their needs and expectations
were met.
KidSafe Award
The TOCAN partnership was awarded the KidSafe Business Award for 2011 for their work on
improving the transportation of children with additional needs. The outcomes from the TOCAN
workshop have been presented at a number of national and international conferences in 2011
including the Road Safety Education Reference Group Australasia National meeting, the
Occupational Therapy Australia, 24th National Conference and Exhibition, Brisbane, and the
20th International Safe Communities Conference Falun, Dalarna, Sweden.
The TOCAN Working Group has put forward a plan for a number of activities throughout 2012
• 2 half day education workshops (one parents and one health practitioners)
• An update of resources for occupational therapists, health practitioners and for parents
of children with additional needs
• Fostering stronger relationships with community occupational therapists and community
case workers and family support agencies.
• The provision of additional information and support for community occupational
therapists and case workers
• The development of a communication strategy
• Further identification of gaps and issues to be addressed
• Initial planning for a full day conference to be held in 2013
Revision of Restraint of Children with Disabilities in Motor Vehicles Standard
The TOCAN partnership made recommendations for need to revise the AS/NZS4370:1996
Restraint of Children with Disabilities in Motor Vehicles Standards. Members of the TOCAN
partnership are now actively involved in the revision of this Standard.
MCHN Presentation
The Safety Centre in partnership with Life Saving Victoria and the Department of Justice
delivered a PowerPoint presentation on water safety at the Maternal and Child Health Nurse
Conference in February. Over 900 MCH nurses attended this presentation and benefited from
information sharing and discussions relating to water safety.
Health Promotion with RCH staff and Families
Throughout 2011, the Safety Centre in partnership with the Child Health and Safety Resource
Centre, have developed a number of health promotion messages to display to RCH staff and
families. The health promotion messages have included:
• Quit Smoking
• Winter Fire Safety
• Safe Toys
• Breastfeeding
This approach has also included the development of on-hold recorded messages which are can
be heard through RCH telephone lines.
VBPP achievements
The VBPP have continued to produce the Stay Safe Newsletter throughout 2011 with three new
additions produced and distributed to health professionals throughout Australia. VBPP has
seen an increase in demand for these newsletters.
The VBPP are proud to report a significant change to Australian Government legislation which
now bans the sale of cigarette lighters which resemble toys. Strong lobbying from the VBPP
has seen this positive change in legislation to protect children.
Resources and Community Support
Through receipt of funding, the Safety Centre reprinted 5000 copies of the extremely popular
Bringing Baby Home resource, 10,000 copies of the Home Safety Checklist and 5200 copies of
the 5th edition of the Child Safety Handbook. In addition, the Safety Centre continued to
distribute printed resources to health practitioners, parents, families throughout Australia. The
following graph outlines the frequency of requests for Safety Centre posters and fact sheets
from various centres. It is evident that Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHC), City
Councils, Hospital/medical practitioners, Community Health Centres and Family Day Care
providers have a high demand for our resources.
This year the Safety Centre reviewed and updated 67 factsheets which were produced for the
nationally funded Raising Children’s Network website and the Victorian Department of Health
Better Health Channel website. These factsheets were updated to ensure the information and
statistics provided were current.
Throughout 2011 the Safety Centre has worked to update a number of key printed resources.
This review included consultation with key peak bodies and health and safety professionals to
ensure the safety messages were in line with current recommendation. The resources have
been designed to be more visual to ensure they can be easily understood by low literacy and
culturally and linguistically diverse families. The new printed resources are expected to be
distributed in 2012.
High Risk Groups & Environments
The Safety Centre continues to focus on providing support and safety advice to Culturally and
Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities through the distribution of resources in other
languages and education using peer educators.
The Safety Centre also continues to work with children with additional needs through their
partnership with TOCAN.
Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN)
The VLGMIN shares information between councils, advocates on behalf of councils and
promotes best practice in cultural diversity.
The Safety Centre continues to participate and be actively involved with the VLGMIN by
attending the quarterly meetings, providing advice and distributing resources.
The Safety Centre attended the City of Yarra and City of Port Phillip’s “Across All Cultures” DVD
Launch on communication with CALD clientele.
Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS)
The Safety Centre has been part of The Royal Children’s Hospital working group to support the
development of resources which respect and acknowledge the needs of CALD families. These
resources are developed to meet the supportive care needs of patients and families.
Injury Data, Media and Publications
The Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU) and Monash University Accident Research Centre
(MUARC) estimate an annual decrease of 8% of child injury deaths and total reduction of 56%
over the past decade.
The Safety Centre always strives to collect the most up to date and relevant injury data in order
to plans programs, provide resources and support community initiatives. In responding to all
initiatives, data is collected from sources including the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit, the
National Injury Surveillance Unit, The Royal Children’s Hospital Trauma Service, Coroners
Injury Prevention Unit and the Victorian Poisons Information Centre.
The following table and graph demonstrate the reduction in child injury deaths in Victoria using
the most current statistics available.
Child Injury Deaths in Victoria
Trend all 0-14 years
Rate per
Baby Steps
The Safety Centre has worked together with journalists from the Herald Sun newspaper in
Melbourne to produce a number of articles on child safety as part of the Baby Steps series. The
articles have covered the flowing topics and have provided with practical advice and guidelines
to improve safety around the home.
• Safety Products
• Backyard safety
• First aid
• Poisoning
See appendix one for an example of a Baby Steps article.
Additionally, the Safety Centre has provided information, advice and guidance to the media on:
• Dangers of falling flat screen televisions - The Herald Sun newspaper
• Burns prevention and keeping safe over the winter months – The Herald Sun
• Safety issues throughout the home – Australian House and Garden magazine
• Pet safety and safe behaviour around dogs – The Herald Sun newspaper
TOCAN Workshop Evaluation
A total of 140 Health Practitioners attended the day long workshop. 62 participants completed
the evaluation questionnaire providing the partnership with a 44.3% response rate.
Evaluation results indicated that almost half (47.6%) of the participants heard about the
workshop through online advertising. 31% received notice through the mail and 21.4% through
a Health Practitioner. Other responses included notice received through ACRI, colleagues, OT
Victoria/Australia and VicRoads.
Participants were asked to rate their level of satisfaction towards the content, presentation style,
and resources provided and location of the workshop. Participants indicated they were very
satisfied or satisfied with the content of the presentation with a response rate of 51.6% and
41.9% respectively. Three quarters of the participants rated their level of satisfaction towards
the presentation style as very satisfied (46.7%) or satisfied (51.6%). The resources provided to
participants were rate at a level of 42.6% very satisfied and 52.5% satisfied. Finally, the
location of the workshop (The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne), half (50.8%) of the
participants were very satisfied with the location with a further 44.3% were satisfied.
Participants were asked if their needs and expectations of the workshop were met. 91.7% of
participates strongly agreed and agreed that their needs and expectations were met.
Safety Centre Childcare and Parent Workshops (2011) Evaluation
The Safety Centre facilitated five parent workshops, five workshops for child care students and
one workshop for family day providers with approximately 120 people attending.
Participants were asked to rate their level of satisfaction towards the content, presentation style,
resources provided and location of the workshops. 95.3% were very satisfied or satisfied with
the content of the presentation. 95% were very satisfied or satisfied with the presentation style
and resources provided. 90% were very satisfied or satisfied with the location. The majority of
workshops were held in the Ella Latham Meeting Room at The Royal Children’s Hospital. On
request and where possible, the Safety Centre will facilitate workshops at outside locations,
otherwise, the Safety Centre uses the hospital’s facilities as a central location for families
throughout Melbourne.
To gain an understanding of satisfaction of the workshop, participants were asked to rate how
satisfied they were with the overall workshop. 45% indicated they were very satisfied and 50%
were satisfied with the overall workshop. Only one participant indicated they were dissatisfied.
The participant was dissatisfied with the presentation as they would have preferred the
discussion to be more interactive and practical.
The comments and suggestions put forward by families will be useful in making improvements
to the Child Care/Family Day Care, Parent/Carer and Student workshops. The suggestions
where appropriate will be incorporated into the presentations for 2012.
International Safe Communities Network (ISCN)
The Safety Centre was represented at the 20th International Conference on Safe Communities
Conference held in Sweden. The conference focused on best practice and ideas for further
developing the International Safe Communities Program.
The Safety Centre presented From Surviving to Thriving: Creating Collaborative Partnerships to
Build Capacity and Provide Better Outcomes, which focused on the TOCAN partnership,
achievements and lessons learnt.
The Safety Centre presented a poster on behalf of the Communities That Care Australia:
Predicting area-level trends for youth alcohol related assaults and hospital admissions in
Victoria which focused on the implications that relate and interact with injury causation.
Australian Injury Prevention Network (AIPN)
The Safety Centre attended the 10th National Conference on Safety Promotion and Injury
Prevention conducted by the Australian Injury Prevention Network. The Safety Centre
represented RCH and the VBPP and presented on the experiences of working in partnership.
Communities That Care (CTC)
The Safety Centre continues its membership on the CTC Board of Directors.
CTC has achieved success developing and piloting community-level prevention projects in
Australia. Pre-post student surveys have demonstrated that in most communities where CTC
has been implemented, risk factors have been reduced, protective factors enhanced and health
and social problems reduced. The work of 'pioneer' communities has yielded valuable lessons
for improving the ongoing implementation of the CTC process in Australia.
A key goal of CTC is to remain current with prevention science in order to keep Australian
communities at the cutting edge. CTC has recently developed a revised comprehensive
prevention strategies guide based on new research findings, particularly in areas such as the
evaluation of prevention strategies.
Final Comments
The New Royal Children’s Hospital
After more than seven years of planning, design and construction, the new Royal Children’s
Hospital opened in November 2011. The Safety Centre opened from their new office on
Tuesday 6th December. The Safety Centre is excited to be involved in this momentous event
and will continue to provide support to families and health professionals throughout Victoria and
Safety Centre Staff
Standing left to right- Helen Rowan, Fiona Shields, Chayley Ashbolt, Lisa King, Carol
Sitting- Gayle Wurm, Barbara Minuzzo
Appendix One