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Accidents: Children

Volume 457: debated on Thursday 8 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the accident rates for children in each socio-economic group. (121816)

The report of the Health Survey for England 2002, which was commissioned by the Department of Health (available online at ), included data on non-fatal accident rates for children by socio-economic group as identified by the National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC). Boys whose household reference person (HRP) was in a managerial and professional occupation, or was a small employer or own account worker, had significantly lower major accident rates than those whose HRP was in a semi-routine or routine occupation. Girls whose HRP was in a managerial or professional occupation, or was a small employer or own account worker, had significantly lower major accident rates than those in other NS-SEC groups. There was no significant association between minor accident rates and the occupation of the household reference person1. The Health Survey for England 2002 is available in the Library and at:

www.archive2.official-documents.co.uk/document/deps/doh/survey02/hcyp/hcyp.htm

Research funded by the Department and published in the British Medical Journal included analysis of accident death rates for children by NS-SEC category, for selected types of accident in England and Wales in 2001-03 (Edwards, P. et al, BMJ 2006 Vol 333 No. 7559 pp 119-121). Compared with children of parents in higher managerial and professional occupations, the death rate in children of parents classified as never having worked or as long term unemployed was 21 times higher for pedestrian accidental injury deaths, and 38 times higher for accidental deaths due to exposure to smoke, fire and flames. There were also inequalities in accidental deaths as car occupants and cyclists.

Source:

1‘Major accidents’ are those about which a doctor was consulted or a hospital was visited; ‘minor accidents’ are all other accidents that caused pain or discomfort for over 24 hours.