There were 469 unnatural deaths among the Sheffield child population between 1947 and 1979, 226 of which were caused by traffic accidents. The annual incidence of these fatal traffic accidents has risen steadily since the early 1960s with boys being consistently more vulnerable. Fatal accidents were disproportionately higher among socially deprived families and in poorer areas of the city. The environment rather than the child may be 'accident prone' and there is an urgent need for safer play areas in deprived areas.
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