In September, with the start of the new school year, the frequency of children injuries goes up by 11%, and most common are injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, sports classes and during the time out of school, according to data of BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (BTA).
Parents should remind their schoolchildren about safety on street, as an increasing tendency of recent years is children and teenagers buried into smartphones and similar gadgets, even while crossing street, railway tracks or paths of other vehicles. Schoolchildren injuries also involve activities at their leisure time, riding bikes, roller-skating and exercising.
“An important thing for parents is to teach their child, who goes to school and returns from it on its own, the correct ways of crossing the street and using the public transport, and refrain from reckless behaviour in potentially dangerous situations. Actually, in the first weeks, when you are about to let your child to go on its own, an advisable thing is to walk the planned route together with the child, encouraging the child to “guide parents” to school and take them home, so that the parent could make sure that its offspring has mastered the necessary skills and would not get lost on the way,” suggests BTA Baltic Insurance Risks Underwriting Department Director Ivo Danče.
According to him, a simple thing to observe when crossing street is the “eye contact principle”. It means that the child has to make sure that the driver of an approaching car has noticed him or her, and only then cross the street.
The reason for lack of proper attention often is texting while walking or even browsing social networks and other online content, and this is a sin not limited just to schoolchildren. “There are still lots of grownups, who use phones behind the wheel without hands-free system, we can observe texting or even browsing while at red light or in traffic jams,” emphasizes I. Danče.
Although the size of fine for using a mobile phone behind the wheel was raised to 100 euros in 2018, there have been nearly 4000 drivers per year getting fined for this violation.
The State Police particularly emphasize the dangers of using smart gadgets while in road traffic. “In 2018, the quantity of such violations was 3750 for the year, while this year by the 31st of August – already 3302 such cases,” highlights the dangerous tendency Līna Kaļķe, Senior Specialist at the State Police Public Relations Department, adding that the actual figure of such offenders could be much higher.
Another important aspect of children safety is junior schoolchildren walking on their own. A survey conducted in social networks revealed that 30% of parents allow their kids going to school unassisted as of seven years of age, 33% – when the child is eight, and 37% wait until the child turns nine.
What does legislation say in this respect?
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG with close to 200 years of experience in the insurance business. With about 50 companies in 25 countries and more than 25,000 employees, Vienna Insurance Group is a clear market leader in its CEE markets. Vienna Insurance Group is the best-rated company of ATX, the leading index of Vienna Stock Exchange with a rating of A+ with stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s; its share is also listed on the Prague Stock Exchange.
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS