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Road safety more concern to parents than 'strangers'

More than 40% of parents of five to 11-year olds say their child has been involved in a near-miss while walking or cycling to or from school, according to a survey by transport charity Sustrans.

Road safety is more of a concern to parents than "stranger danger", the survey from sustainable transport charity Sustrans also found, with 44% classing it above a stranger walking off with their son or daughter.

33 school children representing the number of child cyclists and child pedestrians killed during the school run in 2012. Credit: Bob Collier/PA Wire

Parents that were polled said that slower speeds and more dedicated walking and cycling routes and safer crossings were among the most important traffic measures that would allow their child to get to school without worry.

Parents urged to tell child 'I love you' every day

Parents are being urged to tell their children they love them every day in an effort to boost youngsters' self-esteeem.

A new leaflet also says mums and dads should refrain from swearing, shouting or smoking in front of their children.

The advice from the National Association of Head Teachers and charity Family Action comes amid fears that the pressures of modern life mean parents are forgetting the "little things" that can give their children extra confidence.


Doctors set out steps to reduce UK child deaths

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has set out a number of measures it wants the Government to take to reduce infant mortality, including tightening road traffic laws and bringing in minimum alcohol pricing.

  • withdraw the Government's welfare cap to avoid high living costs hitting poor families
  • a 20mph speed limit in built-up areas to stop road accidents
  • a Graduated Licence scheme for new drivers
  • better health education in schools
  • introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol
  • more action to stop mothers smoking during pregnancy

Child deaths 'disproportionately high' among poor

Child deaths are "disproportionately" high among the poorest families in the UK, a group of leading children's doctors has said.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) also found that British children were at a higher risk of premature death than children in other parts of Western Europe.

The RCPCH report also hit out at politicians for offering "piecemeal" solutions to the problem of infant mortality.

Hundreds of under-12's 'referred for drug treatment'

The Press Association have approached councils across the UK and found children as young as four being referred by education and children's services to alcohol and drug specialists.

In the Freedom of Information request, more than half of under-13s - 59% - received treatment for cannabis misuse, while a third were treated for alcohol misuse.

A small number abused solvents.

A bedroom at a treatment centre for drug addicts and alcoholics. Credit: PA/PA Archive

Eight-year-olds had been referred to services in Waltham Forest and East Ayrshire, while nine-year-olds had been referred in Herefordshire, Liverpool, Oxfordshire, Rutland, the Scottish Borders and West Berkshire.

Authorities in Bury, Calderdale, Halton, Hull, Monmouthshire and Rochdale had seen 10-year-olds referred.

Some 366 children aged 12 or under were referred for treatment in 2012/13 in England, according to the most recent figures from Public Health England, compared with 433 in 2011/12.

UK needs 'urgent improvements in child health services'

Steve McCabe, shadow minister for children and families said he was "shocked" by findings stating children as young as four are being referred to drug treatment centres in the UK.

He said: "The government's current strategy towards drugs isn't working. This highlights the need for an urgent improvement in children and adolescent mental health services".

Government needs 'a proper strategy to deal' with the challenges of growing up. Credit: REUTERS/Lewis Whyld/Pool

McCabe continued by saying a previous Home Affairs Select Committee set up "was interested in the way Portugal manages drug problems" and that there needs to be a "proper strategy to deal with many of the challenges of growing up."


Senior MP 'shocked' at report on child drug use

The head of the influential House of Commons home affairs committee says he is "deeply concerned" at an investigation showing children as young as four are being treated for drug and alcohol misuse.

Labour MP Keith Vaz called on parents to do more to prevent risks to their children.

"It is right that these youngsters receive the appropriate help but we must look at the source of their problems," he said.

"It is vital that parents take responsibility and additional support is given to them in order to prevent children being exposed to drugs and alcohol in the first place."

'Vital' to improve children's drug and alcohol education

It is "vital" to improve education programmes to stop young children having to be treated for drug and alcohol misuse, charities have said.

A survey by Mentor UK, who works to protect children from drug and alcohol misuse, suggested youngsters are not getting enough information.

The charity's director of programmes, Andrew Brown, said:

"We think it is vital that alcohol and drug education improve. Our own survey of teachers suggests that at the moment delivery is inconsistent, and that the norm is to timetable only one or two sessions a year.

Four-year-olds referred to drug treatment centres

Children as young as four years old are among hundreds of young people being sent to specialist drug and alcohol treatment centres.

An investigation by the Press Association found that councils across the UK were referring youngsters to the centres.

Experts said the most common reason children had access to drugs was through their parents.

Your views: 'No sympathy' for teacher strikes

As teachers announce plans that could result in strike action there seems to be little support for any walk outs with parents reacting angrily to the plans.

  • Helen Nellie Chadwick: Surprise surprise think parents should unite as one to stop the fines for taking kids out as its prejudice as it doesn't apply to the disruption that strikes cause let alone the poor pupils about to do their exams.
  • Gypsy Bluebell: Outrageous. Parents can't take children out of school because of disruption to the rest of the class... I have no sympathy with them, whatsoever.
  • Ron Lock: Why don't they have their strikes in August, as a nurse I am getting fed up with this... Maybe we should refuse to treat teachers when they go on strike!
  • Tracy Trotter: Find a different way than walking out. It not only hurts the gov it hurts every parent and costs [them] to find childcare.

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