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PIA Press Release

DOH-7: Parents must teach their kids road safety

Cebu City (4 June) -- With the opening of classes, the Department of Health (DOH-7) is reminding parents of schoolchildren to teach their kids to follow safety rules on road safety.

Walk and not run into the streets while pupils should look both ways before crossing the road, the DOH-7 advisory stated.

Schoolchildren aged below 10 years must not cross the street alone.

Use sidewalks and in the absence of one, schoolchildren must walk facing the road traffic, the DOH-7 advisory on pedestrian safety tips contained.

When crossing the street, use available traffic and pedestrian signals while pupils are urged to wear light colors and reflective material so drivers can easily see them, this is said.

The DOH-7 also asked parents to discourage their children from playing in driveways, streets, parking lots or yards that are unfenced and near a street.

Schoolchildren must also be taught to be aware of signals indicating a car will be moving (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of motor, wheel turning) while extra caution is needed when crossing multiple-lane, high-speed streets.

It is also better to walk in groups, the DOH-7 advised.

The DOH is a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on 'Oplan Balik Eskwela,' a yearly campaign for the smooth opening of classes in June initiated by the Department of Education.

'Oplan Balik Eskwela' aims to ensure that students are properly enrolled and able to attend school during the opening of classes. It also seeks to address common problems encountered during school opening.

The advocacy campaign on pedestrian safety tips is conducted to prevent accidental injury particularly on road traffic injuries among schoolchildren as well as promote child health safety tips.

Last June 2006, the DOH disclosed that one out of every five Filipino children drown or die from road accidents, violence, falls and suicide every year.

The statistics are based in a study the agency did in 2003 with the help from the United Nations Children's Fund and the Alliance for Safe Children. The study showed that the top causes of death among children aged one to 17 years old are drowning with a ratio of 8:100,000 followed by road accidents with 5.85:100,000, violence with 2.52:100,000, falls with 2.11:100,000 and suicide with 1.93:100,000.

The Safe Kids Philippines, a non-government organization that promotes road child safety stated that in 2003, 418,552 Filipino children suffered accidental injuries.

Childhood injury death rates have tripled in the last 30 years, and accidental injuries are the third leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 in the Philippines, according to Safe Kids Philippines.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last 2005 declared the third week of June as "National Safe Kids Week." The week will be dedicated to helping prevent accidental injuries and death to children in the Philippines where accidental injuries kill more than 3,600 children each year. (PIA-Cebu/FCR [top]

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