Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Injury prevention in the UK—the European dimension
  1. Jo Sibert1,
  2. David Stone2
  1. 1Department of Child Health, University of Wales College of Medicine, Llandough Hospital, Penarth CF64 2XX
  2. 2PEACH Unit, Department of Child Health, University of Glasgow, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Sibert
 (e-mail: sibert{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

The UK, the European Union, and child safety policy

The European Union (EU) plays an increasingly important part in the everyday lives of people in all its 15 member states. In the UK, we are beginning to realise that what happens in Brussels is as important as what happens in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, or Belfast. This is certainly true of injuries to children. Moreover, the impending constitutional changes within the UK will inevitably have repercussions both for the way that policies are developed in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It will also effect the relationships of these countries to European institutions. While this section adopts a UK perspective on Europe, we recognise that some or all of the constituent parts of the UK may feel the need to develop their own child safety policies to reflect their distinctive needs.

There are two prerequisites for the development of a comprehensive and effective strategy for child injury prevention in Europe. First, we must have a means of determining the epidemiology of these injuries and monitoring trends throughout the continent. Unfortunately, the information that allows us to compare injury rates in European countries is extremely limited. Second, the advent of the single market implies that the safety of products for children should be considered on an all-European basis rather than a single country one. Despite this, there is much evidence that child safety has a low priority in the single market and that in many important areas there is no harmonisation of safety policies and regulations.1 These twin themes of epidemiology and policy harmonisation will recur throughout this section.

Trans-European networking for injury prevention

The EU also offers us the opportunity to work and learn together in preventing injuries through the creation of professional and academic networks for information exchange, research, training, and policy development. Such networking remains relatively rare. Both authors have, however, recently …

View Full Text