Child Injury Prevention included in European Charter for Health Equity


Jo Leinen

Today the European Public Health Alliance launched the European Charter for Health Equity that has been supported by more than 100 signatories, including the European Child Safety Alliance with the support of its member network of more than 30 Member States.

Vulnerable groups such as children were highlighted by the speakers during the public launch of the Charter at the conference – "European 2020: Delivering a healthy and sustainable future for all?"

Key note speaker Sir Michael Marmot emphasized that "Health is a value. It is unfair if we have avoidable health inequalities and that inequalities in health is social injustice."

For child injuries overall in Europe there is a sevenfold difference between countries with the highest and lowest injury death rates, and up to nine fold differences in the variations within countries.

As with many health conditions, childhood deaths from injury show a social gradient irrespective of cause and strongly associated with poverty, single parenthood, low maternal education, low maternal age at birth, poor housing, large family size, and parental alcohol use or drug abuse.

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of inequality in childhood death, for both males and females. Data shows that the greatest inequalities are in children, rather than any other age groups, re-emphasising their vulnerability to socioeconomic factors.

Joanne Vincenten, Director of the European Child Safety Alliance, raised the question to session speaker Martin Seychell, Deputy Director for Consumers and Health with the European Commission that the level that childhood injury requires stronger support for adoption, implementation and enforcement of evidence-based child injury prevention measures that can help reduce inequalities to children's health and asked the Commission to address this challenge. Deputy Director Seychell agreed that implementation was a challenge, but joint work was needed to move forward on this.

The Alliance will be following up with the Deputy Director on this important action and will also be further investigating children's inequity in health related to child injuries through the new project work in the TACTICS project.

The charter including the list of signatories and the press release can be read here:

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