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Austrian Committee for Injury Prevention in Childhood
  1. Katharina Purtscher,
  2. Johannes Mayr
  1. Austrian Committee for Injury Prevention in Childhood, Auenbruggerplatz 34, Graz 8036, Austria
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Purtscher.

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The Austrian Committee for Injury Prevention in Childhood (ÖKU) is a non-profit organisation with the goal of reducing childhood injuries, especially severe and disabling injuries, and child deaths. Dr Hugo Sauer, at that time head of the Department of Paediatric Surgery in Graz, other paediatric surgeons, paediatricians, and people from other professional backgrounds founded the committee in 1983. Dr Sauer served as president till 1992. Since 1993 Dr Michael Höllwarth has been the committee's second president.

The committee also has an advisory council, whose members reflect a wide range of different professional backgrounds. The advisory council provides assistance in implementing local injury prevention activities.

Aims and goals

To reduce the number and severity of childhood injuries was and is the goal of the committee. From the start special emphasis was given to the prevention of severe and disabling injuries.

At the very beginning agricultural injuries, in particular, in children was an area of major concern. An information campaign on preventive measures of severe agricultural injuries was carried out in close cooperation with the Farmers' Social Security Institution.

The committee addresses major injury risks to children. The following risk areas have been identified as priorities: bicycle injuries, passenger safety, safety at home, and playground injuries.

The main focus of research is collecting injury event data, especially on playground injuries, baby walker related injuries, and psychosocial risk factors of childhood injuries. All kinds of sports injuries, household injuries, and evaluation of the prevention strategies are also studied. In these studies certain types of …

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