People in the news; Hugh Jackson, OBE –

Earlier today I received an email from the journal’s founding associate editor, Mike Hayes, informing me that Hugh Jackson had died. He was well into his nineties but when I last spoke to him a few months ago he was lucid and well informed. When the journal began I wanted Honorary Editors who had been responsible for the birth of child injury prevention (reminder: the journal’s initial focus was exclusively on children’s injuries) and I asked Hugh, along with Ragnar Berfenstram, Michel Manciaux, and Sue Baker to agree to be listed in this manner. All did so.  Much earlier, Hugh had laid his claim to the field by founding the Child Accident Prevention Trust in the UK. Until just before his death he continued to serve  it in various capacities. (I had forgotten that he wrote a wonderful account of the Trust in our first issue.) The Trust was recognized by Princess Diana who became its patron. Several years later Hugh himself was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE), which is just short of a knighthood. His  contributions to the field were enormous. As Liz Towner, another pioneer and close friend of Hugh’s, as well as a former member of our editorial board wrote: “As a paediatrician he recognised early on the impact that injuries had on children and their families and how important child development was in relation to injuries.  He was a team member in the 1940’s of the Thousand Families Study in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and experienced first hand the conditions in which families struggled to survive, surrounded by bomb damaged buildings in the aftermath of the war. His interests in child injury prevention continued in his one-to-one contacts with children who had suffered severe and sometimes fatal injuries – poisoning from a household product stored within reach, severe cuts from falling through a glass door, a fall from a balcony with no proper railings. Hugh’s photographs of the circumstances of children’s accidents helped to illustrate far more than words, how injuries could be prevented.” Liz reminded us of the work Hugh did testing and developing child resistant containers.  I will post a formal obituary when I find one in the British papers but I did not want the day to go by without acknowledging the huge debt the entire field owes to this tireless pioneer. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

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