NICE releases guidance on preventing childhood injuries

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has published new guidance aimed at reducing unintentional injuries to under -15s.

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.

The guidance sets out recommendations based on research and consultation with members of the accident prevention community. It comes in three parts:

  • Strategies to reduce unintentional injuries to under-15s
  • Recommendations regarding home safety equipment and equipment distribution schemes
  • Recommendations regarding road design and modification

It is particularly aimed at helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are far more likely to die in an accident than their more affluent peers.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust welcomes the guidance, particularly as it comes at a crucial time when priorities for local budgets and public health are under scrutiny. The guidance will help those working to prevent accidents to identify the areas where improvement can be made.

Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, said

“Many deaths and serious injuries can be prevented through the measures NICE recommends – better data, stronger local partnerships, staff training, home safety assessments and safety equipment, slowing down traffic speed and prioritising those families at greatest risk.

“Parents tell us they worry about their child having a bad accident and want to know more about how to stop their child being badly hurt.

“We look forward to working with NICE to help local councils and the NHS put these recommendations into practice.”

Take part in a discussion on the NICE guidance

The Local Government and Improvement Development (LGID) are hosting a discussion on the new NICE guidance on preventing unintentional injuries among under-15s on 1 March 2011.

The discussion will be with Simon Ellis, an Associate Director in NICE’s public health team and Dr Heather Ward, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Centre for Transport Studies.

Sign up to the NICE guidance discussion hotseat 

More information

View the guidance on preventing unintentional injuries:

From 1 December, you will also be able to download tools to help your organisation or local partnership implement the guidance.

View Making the Link’s statistics on childhood accidents.

Have your say

Which elements of the NICE guidance do you think will be most helpful in preventing unintentional injuries to children? How are you planning on using the guidance in your work?

Updated March 2012