Inequality and deprivation are key drivers of Scotland’s child mortality level and action is required from the Scottish Government to tackle it say Medics from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in their ‘Why Children Die’ report
Between 350-450 children die in Scotland annually, most of these are under a year old. While road traffic accidents account for many child deaths, there are other avoidable causes of death among children that could be tackled by targeted policies, including improved education for young mothers on a range of health and nurture related issues, which could help them better understand the dangers of behaviours such as smoking and the relation to low birth weight, or the nutritional and protective benefits of breastfeeding.
The report makes 19 recommendations that the Scottish Government could use to improve mortality rates. Some of these include better training for healthcare professionals, while others cover safety measures, such as graduated licensing for young drivers, reduced speed limits in built up areas and safety measures in the home, where many children die as a result of accidents.
Schools also have a role to play according to the report. The authors recommend that children are taught about social and emotional wellbeing, helping to build resilience and tackling issues such as inclusion, bullying, mental health and drug and alcohol use.
Read the report and the remaining recommendations here