Child injury prevention
Last updated: 21/07/2020
Unintentional injuries in and around the home are a leading cause of preventable death for children under five years and are a major cause of ill health and serious disability. Analysis of the most recently available five years of data in England, shows that each year approximately 60 children and young people died, 450,000 attended accident and emergency (A&E) and 40,000 were admitted to hospital as an emergency. Public Health England 2014.
NICE uses the term ‘unintentional injuries’ rather than ‘accidents’, since ‘most injuries and their precipitating events are predictable and preventable. The term ‘accident’ implies an unpredictable and therefore, unavoidable event.
Further information relating to specific causes of injury can be found on the Child Accident Prevention Trust website including Preventing unintentional injuries to the under 5s: a guide for practitioners'
Frontline staff across Berkshire should also be aware of the bruising protocol. Reviews and inquiries have shown that where children have been physically abused, people have not always recognised the significance of injuries and bruising to children. Where it appears an immobile child has suffered injuries or bruising, the guidance requires that professionals refer such cases to children’s social care who will consider the reason for any bruises or injuries along with health professionals. An explanation should be sought from parents/carers where it is safe to do so. There is a leaflet for parents and carers that explains the process.
ICON have resources for professionals to support parents and carers cope with a crying baby. Buckinghamshire Healthcare have produced a video to help professionals explain the resources to new parents.
Further information for parents and carers can be found on our page 'keeping your baby and child safe'.