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Children’s health at risk as fuel poverty increases, 04/01/2012 [W/E/S/NI]

New research by Save the Children has shown that the majority of families in Wales who are at risk of fuel poverty are not getting the support they need, leading to many families living in cold homes or having to choose between paying for essentials like food, and keep warm.

The research, outlined in a new briefing paper, has shown that the UK Government’s scheme to help low income families with fuel bills only reaches 3% of people who need it.

Save the Children has now launched a campaign, “No Child Left in the Cold“, calling on energy companies to promote the scheme better to low income families.

Fuel poverty occurs when a household has to spend 10% or more of its income to keep their home adequately warm. This is a growing problem across the UK, with fuel bills increasing and families tightening their budgets.

Research shows that growing up in cold, damp homes can slow children’s development, worsen long-term problems like asthma and lead to rises in hospital admission rates.

Find out more about the campaign on the Save the Children website.