Background and evidence in child safety

The World Health Organization’s World Report on Child Injury Prevention (2007) identifies many of the key issues of child injury and acknowledges that, while child injury is a public health issue and health services have a large role to play in prevention, research, care and rehabilitation, the prevention of child injury is also the responsibility of many sectors including education, transportation, environment and law enforcement.

The report demonstrates that all initiatives to improve child mortality and morbidity, as well as the general wellbeing of children, must make the prevention of child injury central to their efforts and that efforts must be integrated into broader initiatives.

The risk of unintentional injury in childhood increases with increasing socio-economic deprivation. Death rates from unintentional injury are more than twice as high for the most deprived children compared with the most affluent. The standardised mortality ratio in the least deprived area (deprivation quintile 1) is 55.5 compared with 137.7 within the most deprived area (deprivation quintile 5). A similar pattern can be seen in emergency admissions by deprivation quintile.

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