Low literacy

February 2012

Is low literacy a significant barrier to children’s safety? A briefing paper on the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s Picture of Safety series examines the issue in depth.

Children from deprived families are far more likely to be killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents than children from more affluent families. One in three deprived parents has serious literacy problems. So prevention messages can be lost on the very people who need them most.

How can we address the problem?

CAPT’s briefing paper - Safety without the small print - looks at the issue in-depth to see what can be done about the issue of low literacy in parents and carers.

If you are responsible for commissioning or delivering safety education for parents, Safety without the small print could help you to identify priorities and choose the best way to communicate the key messages to parents with low literacy.

The paper draws on research that was used to develop CAPT’s parent-friendly picture booklets. The booklets are a tool for safety practitioners to deliver key messages to parents without relying on high literacy. The briefing paper:

  • highlights the links between deprivation, low literacy and high accident rates
  • sets out the nature and extent of poor literacy, and the need for more accessible child safety information
  • explains how the Picture of Safety concept has been developed
  • shows how the booklets succeed in communicating safety, without the small print
  • outlines the policy context for the Picture of Safety approach.

More information

Download the briefing – Safety without the small print, where you can also view samples of the parent-friendly picture books.

Updated June 2013