ABOUT 3,000 children in Thailand die of injuries caused by accidents or from physical abuse each year, according to a survey by a hospital here.
The survey showed that accidental drowning was the most common with an average of 1,400 such cases each year.
Among the other causes of death involving children aged between one and 14 were road accidents, falls, electrocutions, poisonings, burns and scaldings.
Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng, who released the results of the survey by the Ramathibodi Hospital during the Thai Children’s Safety Exhibition on Sunday, said injuries caused by “unsafe” toys were also on the rise.
He said each year about 30,000 children were hurt by such toys.
Chaturon said the government was taking the problem seriously and had decided to spend between 3bil baht (about RM 300mil) and 4bil baht (RM400mil) on preventive steps and improve safety in kindergartens and schools.
“Much more needs to be done to ensure that children live in a protected environment. I have urged all schools to evaluate existing safety aspects,” he said.
Commenting on cases of child abuse, Central Institute of Forensic Science deputy director Dr Pornthip Rojanasunan said hospitals could play a vital role in investigating the cases.
She said the authorities should provide counselling for families involved in violence, adding that arresting and pressing charges against the offenders might worsen the child’s plight.
lTHE Thai media is more concerned with earning advertising revenue than discussing pressing social issues, according to a study conducted by an academic from Chulalongkorn University.
The report on media quality showed that stories about women’s issues, health, education, youth and international affairs only accounted for between 2 % and 3% of news coverage in most Thai language papers.
Major crimes and cases of violence involving teenagers and children were given wide prominence in the papers, the study by communications lecturer Wilasini Pipitkul noted.
The study also questioned the ethics of media in passing judgment on people who were suspected of committing offences, but not charged in court yet.
As for television channels, it said most stations tended to focus more on entertainment programmes, game shows, talk shows and dramas.
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