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Child public health part 2: prevention and where paramedics contribute

02 September 2020
Volume 12 · Issue 9


The second part of the series on child public health explores the levels of prevention implemented in order to hinder diseases from affecting the lives of children, and how paramedics implement prevention strategies in their practice both in prehospital and primary care settings.

The first part of the series on child public health introduced how an effective strategy can lead to a healthy life course from childhood onwards, and how paramedics can contribute to these strategies. Part 2 focuses on prevention in more detail, exploring with the use of examples the intricacy of employing preventative techniques to avert diseases from affecting the lives of children, and where paramedics implement such methods into practice.

Prevention refers to the strategy of hindering the onset of disease, improving health and wellbeing (Eyler and Brownson, 2016). According to Blair et al (2010), it occurs at the following three levels:

At the primary level, child public health aims to stop disease or conditions from occurring in the first place (Blair et al, 2010). Examples include healthy eating to reduce the development of obesity and diabetes, and immunisation. The success of a primary prevention strategy is measured by the extent to which a specific disease is prevented (Blair et al, 2010). For instance, meningococcal septicaemia has significantly declined since the administration of a vaccine (World Health Organization, 2020), and is reported to no longer be the leading cause of death of children in the UK (Viner et al, 2018).

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