Superhero Nehoďáček To Help Children In Crisis Situations

The Nehoďáček mascot will be part of the equipment of police cars attending traffic accidents. 6,000 plush toys were provided by the Road Safety Team to the Czech Police as part of the long-term project Markéta’s Traffic Education, to help distract the youngest participants in accidents from unpleasant experiences and help with stress. Photo credit: Czech Police.

Czech Republic, 15 March  (BD) –  A car accident is a disorienting, often traumatic event. Therefore, police officers and other emergency response staff approach children involved in accidents in such a way as to minimise the trauma as much as possible. “In 2021, nine children died in road accidents in the Czech Republic, 79 children were seriously injured, and 1,709 were slightly injured. Eight children were killed in vehicles as passengers, and one died in an accident as a pedestrian. Another 4,372 child passengers found themselves involved in traffic accidents without injury. The presence of children during these unpleasant events cannot be prevented, and they unexpectedly find themselves in uncertain situations. They do not know what will happen at the scene of the accident and they are worried about their loved ones,” said Col. Zuzana Pidrmanová, Head of the Prevention Department of the Czech Police Presidium. Taking care of children in such stressful situations is therefore of paramount importance, and to help with this, plush toys will be distributed to traffic police departments in all regions in the coming weeks.

The task of Nehoďáček will be to help children cope with the traumatic situation and make it easier for the police to establish communication. “Whether it’s the children themselves, their parents or someone else who is injured, the toy can mean a lot in the moment. It helps children calm down, and distracts them from the discomfort,” said Markéta Novotná, traffic education methodologist of the Road Safety Team.

Nehoďáček was not chosen for this purpose by chance. It has had a long-term role in Markéta’s traffic education. It is a central figure in the illustrated version of the project, which deals with traffic education from pre-school education to adults, including teachers. “Nehoďáček should be an ideal role model for children, who not only knows the rules of the road, but also follows them. That is why we liken him to the hero of the traffic environment, as he has to teach children how to behave safely and considerately,” explained Jan Polák, director of the Road Safety Team.

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