Iceland is given a favorable review in a new survey on accident prevention among children, presented in 31 countries across Europe yesterday. Iceland ranks second and scored 0.5 points lower than Finland, which tops the list.
Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The points were granted to countries based on the progress made by respective authorities in accident prevention, funds attributed to such projects and whether an active task force is at hand, Fréttablaðið reports.
Herdís Storgaard leads the accident prevention project Árvekni which has been ongoing in Iceland since 1991. In the two decades that have passed, fatal accidents among children have dropped by 65 percent and other accidents by half.
The legal environment regarding accident prevention among children has improved significantly since the project was launched. However, it is given a lower rating than in earlier surveys as funding to the project has been cut since the banking collapse in 2008.
The Icelandic data on which the current results are based are from 2009. That year, 16 percent of all fatalities among children and young adults were caused by accidents.
Most of these accidents are traffic-related, especially in the age group 15-19. Suicide is also a large factor in fatalities in this age group.
However, the safety environment of children is above average in Iceland when compared to the other countries included in the survey.
Factors taken into consideration include car seats, bicycle helmets and smoke detectors, in which case the situation in Iceland is good, although life vests are not as readily available as elsewhere in Europe.