James Evans, VHS Health Inequalities Volunteer, met with Sara Collier (Policy Officer) and Lesley Warren (Campaigns and Communications Assistant) from Children in Scotland. An organisation with a firm grasp of the importance of tackling health inequalities in the early years.
Children in Scotland are the national agency for voluntary, statutory and professional organisations, which was established in 1993. With over 400 members, tackling health inequalities plays a key role in many of the programmes run by their members.
Children in Scotland are currently focusing on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) as one of their strategic priorities. FASD describes a range of birth defects that can result from pre-natal exposure to alcohol which can cause permanent brain and nervous system damage. Both can seriously affect life chances. On the recommendation of the Scottish Government Children in Scotland authored a training programme on FASD for health professionals.
Children in Scotland have also been focusing on the prohibition of smoking in vehicles while children are present. The proposed Smoking (Children in Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill states that 17% of 11 – 16 year olds are exposed to second hand smoke in vehicles more than once per week. This could lead to many health issues such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and other major illnesses. To view the proposed bill click here.
Education promoting healthy living is seen as a key preventative intervention in reducing health inequalities by Children in Scotland. In Sara Collier’s words, “Education on alcohol consumption, healthy eating and smoking is really important and that is something the Scottish Government can do through the Curriculum for Excellence”.
For more information visit the Children in Scotland website.