Child Safety highlighted at the 5th Ministerial Conference on Children's Environment and Health


Fifty three Member States of the WHO Euro Region and almost 1000 participants gathered in Parma Italy March 10 to12 to work towards an improved environment for children’s health. As part of this agenda the leading cause of child death, burden and inequity - injury - was included. The European Child Safety Alliance was an official delegate to the meeting and participated in a number of discussions and actions.

Parma Conference Hall

On March 10 the European Child Safety Alliance distributed a press release (PDF 79kb) in concert with a 'grey ribbon campaign'. Alliance representatives approached conference delegates and asked them to wear a grey ribbon 'in memory of the estimated 345 children who will die as a result of an injury over the 3 days of the Parma conference with the hope that our work here will help save more children’s lives in the future.' Delegates were very supportive and wore their ribbons as a symbol of support.

Child injury and prevention was well highlighted in the main session of the conference with inclusions in the speeches of the EU Commissioner for Health and Consumers, Italian Health Minister, Cypress Health Minister and WHO Director General to name a few. The Alliance also made an intervention in the main plenary thanking Member States, the European Commission and the WHO CEHAPE process for supporting work on child injury prevention through the Child Safety Action Plan initiative indicating that 25 Member States were now participating in report card assessments of more than 100 evidenced good practice measures and developing child safety action plans where none previously existed. The concluding statement was a call to action to the policy makers to further adopt and implement evidence-based good practices.

As part of the conference, CEHAPE good practice awards were presented. The award for injury prevention and physical activity was presented to Katarina Philips from Child Accident Prevention Trust, UK for their child safety campaign which impacted thousands of UK families on safe strategies for injury reduction in the home.

In addition a number of side events were held in conjunction with the Ministers Conference. The Alliance intern Olivia Heller presented her current work in child safety as part of the Youth Forum and Joanne Vincenten, ECSA Director, was part of the WHO and European Commission side event on injury prevention, where she highlighted the magnitude of child injury and actions undertaken in the Child Safety Action Plan initiative.

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