112 Day reminds of the importance of foresight and prompt action

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 10.2.2017 10.55
Press release 23/2017

The national emergency number day, the 112 Day, is celebrated on 11 February. The main theme this year is the safety of families with children. The slogan for the campaign is ‘foresight diminishes danger’. The aim is to encourage people to identify risk situations and prevent accidents at home and in schools and leisure activities. The campaign challenges everyone to take care of their and other people’s safety.

Accidents are the fourth most common cause of death in Finland. Despite a drop in the number of accidents in the 2000s, they are still the most common cause of death among people under the age of 25. On average 114 under 25-year-olds die in accidents in Finland every year, and annually around 13,800 children and young people are hospitalised due to accidental injuries. Alcohol and drugs increase accident risk. In 2012–2014, nearly a third (29%) of all 15–24-year-olds who died in accidents were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

It is possible to prevent accidents by identifying accident risks in different age groups, by monitoring the incidence of accidental injuries and by systematically removing risks. Safety is built together with children and families as well as with special-needs groups and people living alone. Good motor skills and functional capacity, a safe home, cutting down alcohol and drug use, accessible and well-lit environments and the use of appropriate safety equipment are effective means to prevent accidents.

Accidents kill and are costly

In Finland, most accidents occur at home, in leisure activities or in care institutions. The most common causes of accidental deaths are trips and falls, poisonings, traffic accidents, drownings and fires. In 2015, a total of 2,161 people died in accidents at home and in leisure activities, men accounting for nearly two thirds of the deaths. Road traffic accidents killed 232 people, and 28 people died at workplaces.

Accidents are costly for society: the total cost of accidents is more than billion euros every year. There were more than 110,000 periods of hospital care due to accidental injuries and over million care days. Brain damage, fractures and bruises are among the reasons why people in accidents need hospital care. They are at risk of losing their health for good.

Finland was first to celebrate the national emergency number

Finland was the first to launch the national emergency number day twenty years ago. The first European campaign took place in 2009. In Finland the campaign is a collaboration between the Emergency Response Centre Administration, the Police, rescue services, the Border Guard, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of the Interior.

Inquiries

Pirjo Lillsunde, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 (0)50 523 6207
Olli Saarsalmi, Senior Engineer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 (0)2951 63316
Ulla Korpilahti, Development Manager, National Institute for Health and Welfare, tel.  +358 (0)2952 48668