UK Government must heed call to stop childhood accidents


RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, is urging the UK Government to stop the unnecessary suffering caused by accidents to two million children each year by backing recommendations in a new report from the Audit Commission and Healthcare Commission.

Janice Cave, Director of Public Affairs at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, welcomed the publication of 'Better Safe Than Sorry: Preventing Unintentional Injury to Children'.

She said: "This is sending a clear message to the Government for a more coherent approach to accident prevention for children….This report is a much needed breath of fresh air and echoes RoSPA's pleas for such action ever since the Accidental Injury Task Force said the same thing five years ago. We are particularly pleased that the report recommends the reversal of the disastrous decision to stop collecting data via the Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System. At a time when many other countries were increasing their data collection, we lost a vital tool in understanding what was going on with accidents in the UK.The service was stopped after 2002 and without accurate figures it becomes increasingly difficult to spot trends and target problems.

"The fragmentation of accident prevention work also makes it hard to gather the necessary resources to reduce the injury toll. Clearer direction and focus as suggested in the report will help… Encouraging key players in injury prevention to come together has been shown to work and will prevent accidents, injuries and deaths. Now we need the Government to take the lead in ensuring everything possible is being done throughout the country to pool information and reduce suffering."

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