British children dying from poverty

Thursday, 1 May 2014

A study by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the National Children's Bureau claims that thousands of children in Britain die each year as a result of poverty, The Independent reports.

Compared with Sweden, the best performing country, an additional 2,000 children - five a day - die each year in Britain, the paper reports. The researchers cite poverty and young people committing suicide as among the factors.

According to the Foreword to the report, Why Children Die:

In 2012, more than 5,300 children between 0 and 19 years died in the UK. Although the child mortality rate has declined in recent years, it is far higher than in other, similar European countries. Around six out of ten of these deaths occur in infancy - over 3,000 babies died before their first birthday - and one in five between the ages of 15 and 19. The shocking truth is that many of these deaths are preventable.

Poverty, inequality, and where a family lives are risk factors for death in childhood, from infancy through to young adulthood and beyond. That means not only do we need to identify interventions that directly reduce risk, we also need to consider what action government takes to reduce risk through tackling child poverty and social inequality. Social policy and fiscal policy matter to children’s chances of survival.

Download the report below.