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Wales Behind In Child Care

It has been revealed in a new report that Wales is tragically behind its European counterparts when protecting its children.
Children In Wales, a children's charity published the study by the Child Safety Report Card, which found that the country ranked near bottom, at 21 out of 24 European countries, when it comes to protecting children against accidents.
Each of the 24 countries were giving a card showing their statistical performance in areas such as fall prevention, burn and scald prevention and passenger safety. It then has an overall score which is compared to other countries.
Whilst Wales scored quite well on pedestrian and car safety, it ranked poorly on water safety, burns and scalds, fall preventions and child safety leadership. As a result 81 children and adolescents living in Wales died from personal injuries suffered in accidents.
Reform is needed to protect the young generation
Karen McFarlen, Child Safety Development Officer at Children in Wales, stated that the reason why the country has such a low prevention mark is due to lack of responsibility by the Welsh Government - an issue that needs to be addressed quickly:
"In order to reduce the large numbers of children and young people killed and seriously injured by accidents each year, it is crucial that the Welsh Assembly Government take ownership of all child accidents and lead the way in sustainable and effective prevention measures," she stated.
The one sector that could not agree with this more are injury lawyers, who have called for the government to step up to their responsibilities:
"Children have a right to safe, healthy, and happy upbringings. As parents, caretakers, and responsible citizens, it is our responsibility to work towards providing this for all of our [...] children," said injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino.
As a result, Children in Wales has regularly been meeting with the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) to find a solution to the dire problem. In an attempt to improve the quality of children's lives, the WAG has given the organisation £244,000 until 2011 to reduce the number of child accidents and personal injuries.
"I am delighted to announce that Children in Wales have been meeting with WAG to discuss how to take child safety forward in Wales, ensuring a co-ordinated, effective and long-term solution," MacFarlen said.
Jane Hutt, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills said Wales needs to follow the Netherlands lead, when it comes to accident reduction, as the Netherlands witnessed 41% of children being injured or killed.
"We do score well in some areas and we need to build on these as well as taking positive action to address those areas that need more work. We also need to learn lessons from other countries where they have scored better than Wales," Hutt commented.
Reality check
The Children's Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler, noted that it is important for the country to take on board the key message, so more lives are saved:
"What is important is that this report card does not just act as a measure of the poor progress in relation to some aspects of child safety, but acts as a spur to concerted action on behalf of government, local authorities and other bodies.
"As a nation we have to take on board the key messages and crucially we must engage children and young people about their own safety and how they can be involved."
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