Children and young people

All agencies, from road safety teams to local safeguarding Children boards, have a role to play in preventing accidental injury to children and young people.

'Stay safe' has long been recognised as one of the key outcomes for children, being used as part of a framework for strategy planning and local service delivery. This includes action to reduce injury

By working together more strategically and effectively, a wide range of professionals can influence the safety of children and young people at key stages and transitions in their development.

The starting point: Healthy Lives, Healthy People - the public heath white paper

Reflecting this ‘lifecourse’ approach to health improvement and reducing inequalities, the Public Health White Paper focuses on making a difference in the early years (‘starting well’) and action that can be taken as children develop and then move into the teenage years associated with greater levels of risk-taking (‘developing well’).

The public health white paper is supported by a draft Outcomes Framework which include these proposed indicators:

  • Hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries to under 5 years olds
  • Hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries to 5 – 18 year olds

Read more in the news section

Other current policy and practice initiatives which impact on the safety, health and wellbeing of children and young people include:

The Healthy Child Programme

This covers all aspects of child health including safety. There are three programmes:

NICE guidance

Unintentional injuries cause almost 400 deaths per year in the UK, and thousands more serious injuries. Emergency admissions due to childhood accidents cost the NHS over £140 million per year. The NICE guidance aimed at tackling these problems has been welcomed by all those working to prevent unintentional injury to children.

A number of other policy reviews are considering different stages and strategies:

Early Intervention: The Next StepsThe Foundation years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults
The Early Years Foundation Stage Review
The Munro Review of Child Protection
Key roles in children's safety and well-being
Future policy initiatives
Useful links

Early Intervention: The Next Steps

The Allen review into early intervention has made a strong case for early intervention to continue to play a crucial part in children’s development.

Among his recommendations to retain 19 of the current early intervention programmes is that the proposed health and well-being boards create integrated early intervention approaches which share best practice.

The Foundation Years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults 

Poverty and disadvantage are key factors in unintentional child injury and so the publication of the government’s poverty review conducted by Frank Field – the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances - is a significant piece of work in relation to injury prevention.

The Early Years Foundation Stage review

The Early Years Foundation Stage has been statutory since 2008, and sets standards on early learning for those who provide services to children under 5.

The review, which was announced on 6th July 2010, will concentrate on four key areas:

  1. The scope of regulation
  2. Learning and development
  3. Assessment
  4. Welfare

 The Munro review of child protection

The interim, second report of the Munro review - a major review looking into child protection - has been published. The report, entitled The Child’s Journey, aims to improve child protection and the review has worked with five authorities to improve the system.

Read more about the Munro Review in the news section:

Key roles in children's safety and well-being

The two main roles in children's safety and well-being are:

  • Directors of children's services
  • Directors of public health

Other key agencies 

Future policy initiatives

Health and well-being boards and joint strategic needs assessments are likely to be key areas of partnership working where child accident prevention working will occur.

Useful links

More to add?

Preventing childhood accidents is everyone's responsibility - there are important drivers for change everywhere you look.

If you know of any other incentives to prevent unintentional injury in the children's sector, leave a comment in the box below.

Updated March 2012