Many children are killed or injured unintentionally each year. Beverley Almeida and Philip Smith describe an initiative to tackle the problem
- By: Beverley Almeida, Philip Smith
In 2004 about 230 children died as a result of unintentional injury in the United Kingdom. This is four times as many children as were killed by family abuse or neglect, and 12 times as many children as were killed by strangers. Unintentional injuries also cause more children to be admitted to hospital than any other cause. About 300 children and young people are admitted to hospital because of their injuries every day -more than 100,000 every year.
Unintentional injuries are clearly a serious public health problem, resulting in high mortality and morbidity, personal costs, and costs to society. In the 1990s, to reduce unintentional injury became a government target for the next decade. It was felt that by equipping children with appropriate skills and knowledge the number of deaths caused by these injuries might be reduced and the extent of an injury minimised. This remains a key health target