If you work with families with young children, you can download a free practical guide to preventing accidental injuries to under-fives.

Developed by Public Health England (PHE) in collaboration with CAPT, the guide is designed to support frontline staff to reduce accidental deaths and injuries to under-fives.

It highlights the importance of ‘slotting in’ safety advice in natural ways with parents in a wide variety of settings including children’s centres, nurseries, childminding and playgroups.

At-a-glance facts, advice and safety messages

The guide provides an at-a-glance overview of facts and safety advice for accidents to under-fives. It also offers safety messages for parents and carers that fit in with the timing of the child health reviews at birth, nine months and 2-2½ years.

  • choking
  • suffocation and strangulation
  • falls
  • burns and scalds
  • poisoning

Giving children the best start in life

Eustace de Sousa, PHE’s National Lead for Children, Young People and Families, explains in his blog how accident prevention is part of PHE’s priority to give children the best start in life, and is also a high impact area for health visitors.

He outlines how:

  • Accidents are one of the main causes of premature death and illness for children.
  • Every year in England, 60 under-fives die from accidents in and around the home.
  • There are 450,000 visits to A&E departments and 40,000 emergency hospital admissions in England each year because of accidents at home among under-fives.
  • There is a strong link with social deprivation – children from the most deprived areas have hospital admission rates 45% higher than children from the least deprived areas.

He explains how the practical guide builds on earlier work by PHE on child accident prevention.

Eustace concludes:

“Unintentional injuries to children under five are a serious and costly health issue. I encourage frontline staff, and local leaders, commissioners and service managers to get involved in this programme of work.”

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