The theme for Child Safety Week 2009 is ‘Safer together’. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, childminder or working in a role that involves caring for children, we all have a part to play, no matter how small. By working together as a family, alongside parents, with community groups or directly with children we can protect children and young people from serious injury and death from preventable accidents.
Accidents are one of the biggest childhood killers in the UK, with five children and young people dying every week. This is four times as many children as are killed by family abuse or neglect, and 12 times as many children as are killed by strangers.
Accidents also put more children in hospital than any other cause. Every week, over 2,000 children and young people are admitted to hospital because of their injuries. Many are left scarred for life or permanently disabled.
Children from less well-off families are particularly vulnerable – they are far more likely to be killed or admitted to hospital with serious injuries than their better-off counterparts.
However, many of these deaths and serious injuries can be prevented - and without wrapping children up in cotton wool. Child Safety Week helps people understand the real risks to children and the simple changes they can make to reduce those risks - so that children and young people can enjoy safer, healthier, more active lives.