We want to help you cut to the chase so you can:

Here we share crucial understanding on accident prevention, so safety makes sense.


Accidents are a part of growing up… right!? Many are. Children need to explore and experiment. And minor scrapes and bruises are part of an active, healthy childhood.

But some children suffer the pain of serious accidents that can alter the course of their lives forever and tear families apart. The pain and the guilt can last for years, if not a lifetime.

The majority of these serious accidents are completely preventable. And the solution is often something simple that takes a moment or can become part of our everyday routines.

With so much on social media, it can be really hard to know where to focus. To help you, here at CAPT we focus on the accidents that are the most serious and the easiest to prevent.

Poorest children at most risk

Any child can suffer a serious accident, but the poorest children are most at risk. Children living in poverty are:

  • 13 times more likely to die in preventable accidents
  • 3 times more likely to be admitted to hospital with serious injuries.

The reasons can include:

  • unaffordable safety equipment
  • buying cheaper products that don’t comply with safety standards
  • literacy
  • bringing up children alone
  • maternal depression
  • risk-taking behaviour by young people
  • families who are homeless or living in overcrowded homes
  • lack of car ownership
  • living on streets that drivers use as ‘rat runs’ to avoid congestion on main roads.

Ages and stages

There is a direct link between accidents and child development:

  • Physical development – Their skin is thinner. They may be able to pull a nappy sack over their nose and mouth but then not pull it away again. Their bodies process poison differently. Their heads are proportionately bigger and heavier.
  • Cognitive development – They have to learn to pull away from something that’s burning them. Their understanding of risk and consequences develops over time. As does their ability to judge the speed and distance of traffic.

Many parents are taken by surprise by what their baby or toddler does next. So we encourage parents to stay one step ahead of their developing child, understanding what behaviours – and the accidents associated with them – may come next.

There is also a link to exposure (where children spend their time):

  • Under-fives are at greater risk in the home and garden.
  • Older children are at greater risk outside the home, on the roads as they start to make independent journeys, and at play, including in water.

Read these four age-related scenarios

Five for the under-fives

90% of the most serious preventable accidents to the under-fives fall into five main areas:

Find out more about other preventable childhood accidents in our Safety Advice pages. Or link directly to:

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