Wales

Child deaths highest in poor areas, Public Health Wales finds

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Image caption The report says 'there is a strong association between deprivation and the risk of death'

The death rate among children in the most deprived areas of Wales is 70% higher than in the most affluent, according to health experts.

Public Health Wales' (PHW) Child Death Review said most child deaths (64%) occur in children under the age of one.

It also found transport accidents were the leading non-medical cause of deaths among those aged under 18 in Wales.

The Welsh government said the report highlighted the "importance of bridging the gap between rich and poor".

The report does not identify places but it said it found "a strong association between deprivation and the risk of death".

In the report foreword, Children's Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, said: "One important result of reducing poverty would be a reduction in child deaths in Wales."

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "We are firmly committed to reducing avoidable child deaths.

Young drivers

"This report highlights the importance of bridging the gap between rich and poor in order to reduce excess child deaths. That's why reducing inequalities lies at the heart of all our polices."

The report found there were 204 deaths of children living in Wales registered in 2013 which it said was similar to other UK areas.

It also analysed deaths between 2004 and 2013, finding 131 children aged under 18 died in transport accidents, of which 65 were drivers or passengers in a car.

Dr Rosalind Reilly, a consultant in public health and health intelligence with PHW, said: "Actions such as the introduction of restrictions to young drivers could help to reduce the number of deaths on our roads."

In May, the Welsh government said it had earmarked £2m for road safety education and training programmes for high-risk and vulnerable groups, such as children, young people, older drivers and motorcyclists.

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