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Monday, June 22, 1998 Published at 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK


Campaign to reduce child accidents

Most accidents are preventable

A campaign has been launched to help cut the number of children killed and injured in accidents.

[ image: Carol Sherriff: balance needs to be struck]
Carol Sherriff: balance needs to be struck
The Child Accident Prevention Trust says many parents are ignorant of simple measures that could protect children in the home and on the roads.

Each year, more than 2 million children under the age of 15 - one in five - end up in hospital after accidents. The trust says more than 500 of these children will die.

Child accidents also have a considerable cost impact on the National Health Service (NHS). It has been estimated that five per cent of the total NHS budget in England and Wales - 200m - is currently spent treating children involved in accidents.

Fear of abduction

Research conducted by the Child Accident Prevention Trust reveals that most parents believe children are more at risk from abduction by strangers than commonplace accidents in the home like burns or falls, or in road accidents.

[ image: Child accidents cost the NHS millions to treat]
Child accidents cost the NHS millions to treat
The reality is that around 45,000 children are injured on the roads each year, while no more than 10 are likely to be murdered by a stranger.

"We're very fortunate in this country that, in fact, the number of children murdered or abducted by strangers is very rare indeed," says Carol Sherrif from the Child Accident Prevention Trust.

"Whereas, the number of children killed by accidents is very high. One of the things we're trying to do is get the balance of those messages right."

Child Safety Week is an annual event organised by the Child Accident Prevention Trust. The Week aims to re-educate parents and children about safety, and offer advice on how to use toys and other products safely.

Thousands of local activities take place throughout the UK from small events such as a poster display in a doctor's surgery, to week-long multi-agency events involving all the major safety and emergency organisations.

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