What are unintentional injuries?
Unintentional injuries in and around the home are a leading cause of preventable death for children under five years in the UK and a major cause of ill health and serious disability.
The term ‘unintentional injury‘ is used rather than ‘accidents’. The term ‘accident’ implies that events are unavoidable, however in fact, a high proportion of these incidents are actually preventable.
Nationally the 5 most common causes for hospital admissions for under 5s are:
- Choking/suffocation & strangulation
- Poisoning (in particular poisoning from medicines and household products)
- Burns and scalds (including internal burns from button batteries and magnets)
Guidance and information for professionals:
- Unintentional injuries: prevention in children under 5 years – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Guidance for all staff working with children under 5 years old, covering the 5 injury priority areas, as well as fire and roads.
- The Injury Prevention Briefing – Preventing unintentional injuries to the under-fives: a guide for practitioners contains evidence based information and practical ideas for professionals working with families on the issue of unintentional injuries.
Other useful websites and resources:
- The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) is the UK’s leading charity working to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents. The CAPT website has a wide range of resources and information for parents and professionals around keeping children safe. Professionals can also register to receive guidance and updates via email. CAPT often issue product alerts which are useful for settings / parents.
- The Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents (ROSPA) is a British charity that aims to save lives and prevent life-changing injuries which occur as a result of accidents. The ROSPA website contains useful information and resources for practitioners and families around unintentional injury prevention.
- The NHS provides important information around safety and what to do if a child has an accident: Baby and toddler safety – NHS (www.nhs.uk) What to do if your child has an accident – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- The Healthier Together websites for North Yorkshire and Humber, and West Yorkshire (for those based in Craven), offer key information on keeping children safe.
- Food safety advice on choking hazards in settings – Foundation Years contains posters and links to food safety advice for children aged 5 and under.
- The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies and offers emotional support for bereaved families. They offer simple safer sleep advice which includes videos, and facts for parents. They also have a dedicated professionals page: Professionals – The Lullaby Trust containing information and resources for professionals working with parents with young babies, and bereaved parents.
- Day or Night, Sleep Right is a key message to those who care for infants across North Yorkshire and York. The ‘Day or Night, Sleep Right’ campaign has been created as a way of providing information regarding the importance of safe sleeping environments for infants to reduce the number who have sadly died as a result of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI). Further information and links to Practice Guidance can be found on the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Partnership Website. NYSCP (safeguardingchildren.co.uk) Recorded training for practitioners is also available here https://youtu.be/AsTr2kY27gc