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Child public health part 4: paramedics at the forefront of child protection

02 November 2020
Volume 12 · Issue 11


Paramedics are ideally placed in communities to facilitate screening and promote healthy behaviour in children, as well as identify those who may at risk of abuse or neglect. This last instalment of this four-part series on child public health explores the position of paramedics in the larger picture of child protection.

A key theme throughout this child public health series is the opportune and unique position paramedics have within the community to encounter children in their natural environments. Not only does this facilitate screening and opportunities to promote healthy behaviour, but also the identification of those children who are vulnerable to risk of abuse and neglect. As clinicians, paramedics are well versed in advocating and protecting the rights of children. Recently, the competency of paramedics has been raised to a safeguarding of level 3, as established in an interdisciplinary document produced by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) (2019):

‘Clinical staff working with children, young people and/or their parents/carers and/or any adult who could pose a risk to children and who could potentially contribute to assessing, planning, intervening and/or evaluating the needs of a child or young person and/or parenting capacity (regardless of whether there have been previously identified child protection/safeguarding concerns or not’

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