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Wales Rated Poorly on Preventing Childhood Accidents, 06/05/09 [W]

24 countries in Europe have been involved in a project to reduce child accidents and injuries. Through the project each country is given a “Child Safety Report Card” which rates their performance in a range of areas, such as passenger safety, fall prevention, burn and scald prevention and so on, as well as an overall score compared to the other countries taking part. Wales’ overall score ranked it 21st out of the 24.

Wales scored relatively well on areas such as motor and pedestrian safety, but poorly on other areas including water safety, falls prevention, burns and scalds.  Wales’ also scored poorly in the category of child safety leadership.  This is because with there is no leading government department or ministry taking overall responsibility for child safety.

Karen McFarlane, Child Safety Development Officer at Children in Wales explained: “Whilst the report card shows good progress in some areas of child accident prevention, it also highlights areas that need addressing, particularly around leadership.  In order to reduce the large numbers of children and young people killed and seriously injured by accidents each year, it is crucial that the Welsh Assembly Government take ownership of all child accidents and lead the way in sustainable and effective prevention measures.  I am delighted to announce that Children in Wales have been meeting with WAG to discuss how to take child safety forward in Wales, ensuring a coordinated, effective and long-term solution. “

Jane Hutt, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, said “I very much welcome this report which clearly outlines where Wales needs to improve in its approach to child safety.  We do score well in some areas and we need to build on these as well as taking positive action to address those areas that need more work. We also need to learn lessons from other countries where they have scored better than Wales.

“The Welsh Assembly Government is taking steps to reduce the number of accidents and injuries with funding of £244,000 from 2008/2009 – 2010/2011 to Children in Wales. This funding will be used to improve child safety practice and co-ordination across Wales; inform policy on a national and local basis and develop a Child Safety Action Plan for Wales.

“This assessment in the report card will be used to inform future policies and programmes.”

 

 Notes

1.         The Child Safety Report Card for Wales is being launched on Wednesday 6 May 2009 at  3.00 pm in Ty Hywel, Cardiff Bay.  It will be launched by Jane Hutt, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Keith Towler, Children’s Commissioner for Wales and Professor Ronan Lyons, Chair of the Child Safety Steering Group for Wales.  To book a place at the launch please contact Karen McFarlane at Children in Wales, e-mail: karen.mcfarlane@childreninwales.org.uk

The Child Safety Report Card was developed by the Child Safety Action Plan Project, a European initiative led by the European Child Safety Alliance of EuroSafe to provide a starting point for measuring progress towards and setting targets for reducing injury-related death and disability amongst children and adolescents in Wales. The report card is based on an examination of evidence based good practice policy in Wales to support child and adolescent safety up to July 2008.  The Country Coordinator for the CSAP project in Wales is Karen McFarlane, Child Safety Development Officer at Children in Wales.   

2.            Wales’ score out of five on the different injury areas are          

Moped/motor scooter safety         3.5

Passenger/driver safety         3

Pedestrian safety         3

Cycling Safety         2.5

Water safety/drowning prevention         0.5

Fall prevention         1

Poisoning prevention         2.5

Burn/scald prevention         2.5

Choking strangulation prevention         1.5

Child Safety leadership         1

Child Safety Infrastructure         4

Child Safety capacity Building         4.5

3. Children in Wales consulted on an action plan reducing child accidents in Wales during 2007, and the final document, “Working Towards a Child Safety Strategy for Wales” was published in February 2009.  

4.         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.

5.            The Child Safety Report Card will be available for download from the Children in Wales website from 6 May: www.childreninwales.org.uk/publications  .  Details of other European countries are available on the European Child Safety Alliance website www.eurosafe.eu.com .

6.            For further information regarding this press release contact: Karen McFarlane at  Children in Wales, 25 Windsor Place, Cardiff, Tel: 029 2034 2434, E-mail: karen.mcfarlane@childreninwales.org.uk