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443 Expansion from one to three: the Austrian safe children community grows
  1. Sabine Distl,
  2. Peter Spitzer,
  3. Gudula Brandmayr
  1. Safe Kids Austria/Grosse Schuetzen Kleine, Austria


Background The Safe Children Community Deutschlandsberg was expanded to the Safe Children Community of Southwest Styria which now comprises three districts. Initiation, development and implementation of successful projects and programs have furthered the reduction of child injury rates. Additionally, evaluation of programs, measures, and injury data was carried out to determine whether the efforts achieved the desired results.

Methods The steering committees of each district comprising all relevant representatives established working groups for categories such as safety in traffic, at home, in school and preschool, during sports, and during leisure time, as well as injury surveillance. A variety of child-safety activities in different settings were developed, involving as many organisations, institutions, schools and professional groups as possible, as well as local media.

Results Data surveillance demonstrated a reduction in child injuries. The relative injury rate of the Safe Children region decreased from 216/1000 in 2012 to 201/1000 in 2014. The pilot district Deutschlandsberg (designated in 2011 as the first Safe Children Community) was able to reduce the child injury rate from 195 in 2012 to 180 in 2014.

Conclusions Motivating a community to carry out injury-prevention initiatives is much easier when the focus is on children. It is also very useful to have champions from all public and private sectors and areas on the steering committees and in the working groups. In addition, it is helpful if a structure of participation is supported by the top-down-principle in the public sector. Despite all the internal motivation, a Safe Children Community has to be driven by external input and expertise. In order to develop and realise projects and receive the attention of Safe Kids Austria as a coordinating body, it is important to have the financial support of the Styrian Government and the districts themselves.

  • Safe Children Community
  • evaluation
  • reduction of child injury rate
  • Grosse schuetzen Kleine
  • Safe Kids Austria

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