Kid on the beach


Summer in New Zealand is a wonderful time. But unfortunately, it can be a dangerous time too. Did you know that there are approximately 6,800 hospitalisations across the country/nation each year due to unintentional injuries? Let’s do everything we can to help reduce that number this summer.

Safekids Aotearoa, a service of Starship, delivers education, resources and awareness campaigns to whānau, community and health professionals to help keep children safe from serious injuries like falls, drowning and incidents on the road. Their work is based on international research, local knowledge and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and in 2021 their wellbeing and injury prevention videos reached more than 1.5 million people on social media.



Did you know?

Children can drown quickly and silently in less than 5cm of water. The common places children drown change with age. Babies and toddlers often drown in buckets and baths. Pre-schoolers are more likely to drown in home swimming pools, with 50% of home drownings being made up of 1-2-year olds. And teenagers are more likely to drown in rivers and the sea, as they may underestimate strong currents.

Safe Tips:

  • Always empty bathtubs, buckets and paddling pools after use and store them away where possible.
  • Check that pool gates are secure and locked at all times.
  • Only let children in, on and around water when you are free to supervise them at all times, without any distractions (including your phone).



Did you know?

Spring and summer are the danger months for driveway incidents as kids are outside more and doors are left open. Children aged 0-4 years old account for most of the deaths and hospitalisations from driveway incidents. Most incidents happen in a child’s own, a relative’s or a neighbour’s driveway. Tragically, the child’s parent is driving the car in most cases.

Safe Tips:

  • Know where children are before getting into your vehicle. Check for children by walking around the whole vehicle and looking underneath before driving off.
  • Separate play areas from driveways - children should not think of driveways as play areas.
  • Always actively supervise children around vehicles.

Did you know?

Motor vehicle traffic crashes are a major cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in children. They tend to affect all ages equally, but older kids aged 10-14 years are more likely to be injured or die in motor vehicle traffic crashes. When installed and used correctly, child safety seats and belts can prevent injuries and save your child’s life. In addition, a booster seat has been shown to reduce the risk of injury to a child by almost 60%.

Safe Tips:

  • For every car ride, secure children into a properly installed car seat made for your child’s weight and height.
  • It is the law in NZ for children to use an appropriate child restraint until their 7th birthday. But to be safe, keep children in a booster seat of a car until they are 148cm tall.
  • Kids are safer in the back seat.



Did you know?

While minor slips and falls are a normal part of children’s development and are very common, a serious fall may result in traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal injury that may affect a child for the rest of their life. On average, 225 children are hospitalised each year due to falls from playgrounds. 31% of fall-related hospitalisations happen in the home and 24% in public areas or schools.

Safe Tips:

  • Steer children towards age-appropriate activities to help prevent falls from play equipment at home and in public playgrounds.
  • Talk to your children about being safe on a trampoline and using the ‘one at a time’ rule.
  • Find playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces like wood chips, mulch, rubber or sand.



Through their donations, our Mercury customers have helped the team at Starship and Safekids Aotearoa provide world-class healthcare for kids and invest in prevention measures like these, to help keep them safe. But there’s still plenty more wonderful initiatives that need your help.

Please join us by adding a monthly donation from as little as $4.00 to your Mercury bill. A small donation can make a world of difference.


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The information provided in this article is of a general nature and not intended to be a substitute for personalised, professional advice. Mercury recommends that you always seek appropriate advice from a qualified professional to suit your individual circumstances. Links to external, non-Mercury websites are provided as a reference only, and do not imply a partnership or endorsement of their content.