Beterem - The National Center for Children's Safety and Heal...
Beterem - The National Center for Children's Safety and Health
Beterem ("beforehand" in Hebrew) Safe Kids Israel is a nonprofit organization which aims to promote child safety and create a safer environment for children, both Arab and Jewish, in Israel.
Beterem was founded in 1995 at the Schneider Children's Medical Center and is the only organization in Israel to exclusively address child safety. In 2003 it was officially recognized by the Israeli Government as the leading organization and a professional leader of child safety issues in Israel. In addition, Beterem is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, since 2001, and is the official representative, on behalf of the State of Israel, at ECSA (European Union, UNICEF and World Health Organization).
The World Health Organization has declared that preventable injuries among children are an epidemic of the 3rd millennium. In Israel as well, preventable injuries are the number one killer of children under 18. Each year approximately 25,000 injured children are admitted to hospital emergency wards across the country - 500 children every day. Of those, approximately 24,000 require hospitalization and 150 lose their lives. Most of these injuries are due to falls, burns, drowning, poisoning, choking, car accidents and other "every-day" causes. Based on international experience, 95% of these accidents are preventable.
According to Beterem's National Report for 2008, injuries are more common in Arab children compared to Jewish children; the injury-related death rate is 2.1 times higher in Arab children. Beterem therefore strives to minimize child injury rates not only in the general population but also and more specifically in the Arab society. By addressing this issue in a multi constitutional and methodical way and raising awareness to it, child injury rates can be reduced. Indeed, in the first decade of Beterem's activity, it achieved a decrease of 30% in child mortality rates from preventable injuries in Israel - thereby reaching our first goal from 2001. Beterem has set itself with a new goal, to be reached by 2020, of further reducing overall child mortality rates by an additional 35%; reducing the child mortality rate among Arab children and decreasing the gap of child injury rates between Jewish and Arab children by at least 25%.
At the core of Beterem activities are key prevention strategies: Education & Empowerment, Engineering & Environmental modifications, Evidence-based Interventions & Evaluation, Enactment, Enforcement and Exposure and resource development.