The country still has a lack of education and communication campaigns designed to help raise adults’ knowledge on child injury prevention, said officials involved in the field.

Nguyen Trong An, deputy director of the Department of Children Protection and Care under the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), said that the home was supposed to be the place where children are best protected, but 80 to 90 percent of child injures occur there.

“Many parents lack knowledge in dealing with child injuries, making the situation even worse,” he said.

For example, it is popular among parents to use toothpaste, chicken eggs or boa’s fat on burns to ease the pain, An said.

But in actual fact, all these substances might make the burns worse, he said.

Nguyen Tuyet Lan, a doctor at Hospital E in Hanoi , said that she had witnessed many parents using incorrect methods when applying first aid to their injured children.

“When children bleed, many parents blow on the injury without knowing that it increases the possibility of infection,” Lan said.

A handbook on preventing child injuries for parents was delivered to a selection of rural homes as part of a MoLISA project. However, the content of the handbook was general while some areas need specific knowledge.

Poor children are at a higher risk of injury than more privileged children while education and communication campaigns on child injuries remain lacking.

He suggested publishing material on child injury prevention to deliver to parents and broadcasting the same content on radio programmes for rural communes.

In 2008, there were more than 46,000 child injury cases, of which 7,300 died.

There is a need to build a national target programme on accidental injury prevention, said Tran Ngoc Lan, deputy director of the Department of Preventive Health Care and Environment.

To deal with accidental injuries, it requires the cooperation of all sectors and all levels from central to grassroots, she said.

If such a programme is started, it will be easier to mobilise support from international organisations and the flow of information will be exact and synchronised, Lan said./.