There is ample evidence to show that young people living in poorer circumstances are more likely to be at risk of unintentional injuries and lack of physical activity than those from more affluent families. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children aged 5−19 years in the WHO European Region, with road traffic, drowning and poisoning ranking among the top 15 causes of death in 0−19-year-olds. Deaths in countries with the highest injury rates are almost seven times those in countries with the lowest rates, with five out of six child injury deaths taking place in poorer countries. Physical inactivity in childhood and adolescence is recognized as having profound negative implications for the health of young people as they grow into adulthood, and being subject to socio-environmental influences. WHO/HBSC Forum 2009, the third forum in a series designed to promote adolescent health, concentrated on action on socio-environmentally determined health inequities among children and adolescents. This publication presents the summary of outcomes from WHO/HBSC Forum 2009. It also features two background papers on injuries and physical activity and environmental inequalities among children and young people which set the context and present a summary of the evidence on the topics, and 10 country case studies which share national experiences.
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