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Injury risk "higher in poorer children"

Children from less affluent families have more chance of being injured on the roads or in their homes, research has suggested.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), released the findings, which are aimed at preventing injuries to children under 15.

According to NICE, three areas must be addressed to lower the number of preventable injuries to children: better strategic working between the authorities, road safety work and better home safety assessments.

Sixty-five children under the age of 15 were killed on Britain's roads in 2009, while 2,267 were seriously injured.

In 2008, 55 children died from "choking, suffocation or strangling"; 17 from drowning and 10 from "smoke, fire and flames", the guidance said.

Youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds were more likely to be the victims with the report stating: "Children whose parents have never worked (or are long-term unemployed) are more likely to die from an unintentional injury compared to children whose parents are in higher managerial or professional occupations."

Professor Catherine Law, Chair of NICE's public health interventions advisory committee, said: "There is a clear link between increasing speed and the risk of death in the event of a vehicle hitting a child.

"We also know children from poorer families are at high risk because they're more likely to be exposed to danger, for example, living in neighbourhoods with on-street parking, high speed traffic and few or no off-street play areas."

NICE wants to see bath tap safety valves installed in homes to reduce the chances of children being scalded - and the installation of "window restrictors" to prevent youngsters falling out.

Copyright © Press Association 2010