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“Could do better…”: Child Safety Report Card shows improvements in Wales, but more work needed, 12/06/12

Child safety assessments released today have shown that Wales has made some important improvements to injury prevention since 2009, but there is still work to be done.

Unintentional injuries are a leading cause of death for children in Wales and across Europe. In fact, a child dies every hour across the EU as a result of injury, and the Report Cards aim to highlight the strengths and weaknesses in each country.

Karen McFarlane, Child Safety Development Officer for Children in Wales stated; “Many of these accidents cause life long changes for both the children and their families.  We shouldn’t wrap children in cotton wool, but instead, understand that there are ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ risks.  It is the ‘unacceptable’ risks, such as drowning, falling from windows, road accidents, that the report card is aiming to address.  Other European countries have proved that these types of accidents are preventable and we can reduce the number of children who receive fatal, serious and disabling injuries in Wales.”

The Child Safety Report Cards score participating European countries on their leadership, infrastructure and strategies for preventing unintentional injuries to children. 31 countries took part this year.

Wales scored 30.5 out of a possible 60 ‘stars’ for using proven methods of reducing accidental death and injury, up from 29.5 in 2009.

This compares with 35.5 in England and 39 in Scotland, showing that there may be areas where the UK countries can learn from each other.

In particular, Wales needs to develop better national leadership and a whole-government approach to child accident prevention. Road and water safety, as well as home safety, are particular areas needing improvement.

It is also recommended that more is done to educate practitioners and carers, and introduce policies and programmes to prevent drowning, falls poisonings, burns and scalds.

Child Safety Report Card 2012: Wales

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Notes

1.        Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for voluntary, statutory and professional organisations and individuals who work with children and young people in Wales. www.childreninwales.org.uk. Children in Wales was established in March 1992 and became a registered charity in 1993.  It aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  We work closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, children with special needs or disabilities, and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation.  We collect and disseminate information about children and promote good practice in children’s services through research, policy and practice development, publications, conferences, seminars, training and access to an extensive library and information service.  Children in Wales has offices in Cardiff and Caernarfon.

2.        Please contact: Karen McFarlane, Child Safety Development Officer, Tel: 029 2034 2434, E-mail: Karen.mcfarlane@childreninwales.org.uk

3.        Child Safety Report Cards are developed by the European Child Safety Alliance as part of the Child Safety Action Plan Initiative. They give overviews that summarise countries’ levels of safety provided to children  through national policy. Full details and country profiles are available on the European Child Safety Alliance website here: http://www.childsafetyeurope.org/reportcards/index.html