Physical Safety/Injury Prevention

In New Zealand, unintended injuries are the major cause of hospitalisation and death for school-aged children. The good news is that effective solutions can be put in place to prevent these injuries, and teachers and students can work together to improve safety in schools.

Physical safety and injury prevention can be explored in various areas including playground, road, water, fire and rural safety and through anti-bullying programmes and correct cycle helmet fittings and usage information.

New Zealand Boards of Trustees and governing bodies of independent schools have duties as employers to take all practicable steps to ensure that no harms befalls people at a place of work who are not employees. This would, in a school of course include students.  They are also obligated to take all practicable steps to prevent hazards harming people in the vicinity of the school.

Did you know?

  • For children aged 5-9, motor vehicle traffic crashes where the child is a pedestrian are the leading cause of injuries resulting in death.

  • Every year, on average, 4800 children are injured severely enough from a fall that they need to be hospitalised. 

  • Playground equipment related injuries account for 32% of all fall-related hospital admissions for children. 

  • On average, two children will die from a fall-related injury every year.

Information and guidelines on ways to support physical safety and injury prevention in schools can be found in our Guidance documents section.  In order to ensure sustainable changes in physical safety and injury prevention, it is important that these guidelines are implemented using a 'whole school approach'.   This means embedding physical safety and injury prevention messages and practices into Curriculum, teaching and learningSchool organisation and ethos and Community links and partnerships

To see examples of what other schools have done, check out our Case studies section, and be sure to look through our Resources for links to free toolkits, posters, books and other information to support your physical safety and injury prevention programme.


Page updated 14 Nov 2019