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Accidents kill, injure 82 kids a day - study
By Guan Xiaofeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-31 07:06

About 82 children were killed or injured crossing streets on the Chinese mainland every day in 2005, a study said on Friday.

The survey by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 30,000 kids were involved in traffic accidents over the past 12 months.

Pupils at Beijing's Huguosi Primary School received a vivid lesson on Friday of how to be a safe pedestrian, which is part of the efforts made by SAFE KIDS Worldwide and FedEx Express to reduce the number of road casualties.

The children, some of whose parents are migrant workers coming from all parts of China, learnt some basic traffic knowledge and completed the lesson by crossing a main street in Xicheng District with the help of their teachers and volunteers.

Monica Cui, director of the Shanghai representative office of SAFE KIDS China, said they hope to give special care to children of migrant workers because a survey of 500 pupils showed 64 per cent of them have to walk to school without the company of their parents, in contrast with 36 per cent for native children.

Statistics showed that Beijing has about 180,000 non-native pupils, about half of the number of native pupils.

Between 2000 and 2004, 233 children were injured or killed every year in Beijing, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Children who were injured spent an average of two weeks in hospital with medical expenditure of more than 8,000 yuan (US$986.4).

"This is more than a whole year's wage for those migrant workers," Cui said.

Cui said the organization launched a campaign Walk This Way jointly with FedEx Express in 2004.

More than 300,000 children in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou have benefited from the programme, Cui said.

"This is a wonderful and beneficial activity for my pupils," said Li Wensuo, headmaster of the primary school. "I believe they will form good walking habits for a lifetime."

(China Daily 12/31/2005 page2)

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