Injury Prevention

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.

Every year in England, 60 children under the age of five die from injuries in and around the home, which is one in twelve of all deaths of children aged one to four. 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.

All staff who work with children in early years settings are ideally placed to help reduce childhood accidents. Through their contact with parents, they can equip them with a better understanding about child development and can help them to anticipate risks.

The five top unintentional injuries for the under-fives are:

  • Choking, suffocation and strangulation
  • Falls
  • Poisoning
  • Burns and scalds
  • Drowning

Helping parents understand the first step in prevention is that unintentional injuries most often occur as the result of events which can be predicted and prevented.

Further resources and information

Making the link Making the Link project supports senior practitioners and policymakers working to prevent unintentional injury to children and young people in England.

Injury Prevention Briefing The ‘Keeping children safe at home research programme’ is a programme identifying effective ways of passing on advice to parents on preventing accidents via children’s centres. Injury Prevention Briefing.

Lullaby Trust The Lullaby Trust promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and provides special support for anyone bereaved through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

PHE Unintentional injuries: prevention in children under 5 years This guidance, produced in association with the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), is for all staff working with children under 5 years and covers the 5 injury priorities.

CAPT National charity committed to reducing the number of children and young people killed, disabled and injured as a result of accidents. The main site is designed for parents, carers and frontline staff

ROSPA The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is a British charity that aims to save lives and prevent life-changing injuries which occur as a result of accidents.

Lifeskills Lifeskills is an interactive safety education centre, built as a realistic village, which has been developed to teach people how to deal with potentially difficult or dangerous situations, whilst in a safe environment.

Buy Wise Be Safe A website providing safety information and advice about the wise purchase and safe use of equipment for babies and children up to school age

Public Health England Reducing unintentional injuries in and around the home among children under five years