Our topic briefings cover important issues in child accident prevention for practitioners and policymakers. They provide an overview of key data, the policy arena, prevention programmes, partnership working and the support that Making the Link can offer, as well as links to other resources.
The briefings will be helpful to anyone involved in commissioning and delivering services for children or contributing to the safety, health and wellbeing of children and young people in their community, including:
- children’s services and public health teams that commission services for maternity, children and families
- statutory, voluntary and community sector organisations that deliver services and programmes for children and families
- practitioners and policymakers developing business cases for child accident prevention work.
A disproportionate number of young people are killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads each year: 17-24 year old drivers account for only 3-5% of car miles driven, but make up almost a quarter of drivers killed. Our topic briefing includes key figures for 2012 and an overview of the policy landscape and prevention programmes including graduated driver licensing (GDL).
Public health and child accident prevention
The new public health system took effect from April 2013, when Public Health England was established and public health services formally transferred from the NHS to local authorities. Our topic briefing outlines the key roles and responsibilities relating to child accident prevention for organisations in the new public health system.
Seven children are killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads every day. This briefing explains the key issues relating to road safety for senior practitioners and policymakers working in child accident prevention.
Working with the voluntary sector
There are many ways in which statutory organisations can work with the voluntary and community sector (VCS) on child accident prevention, from commissioning one-off projects through to embedding child safety measures into service contracts. This briefing explores how statutory organisations can work effectively with VCS organisations, with case studies that illustrate a range of approaches.
Injury prevention co-ordination
Co-ordinating injury prevention activities across a local area is an opportunity to achieve greater focus and impact. But there's no 'one size fits all' approach to co-ordination - different areas need to find the approach that is right for them.
Engaging with parents and carers
Practitioners wanting to prevent childhood accidents have to find effective ways to engage parents and other carers of young children in safety issues. For parents, keeping their children safe is a very high priority, so engagement might seem like an easy task – but the reality is much more complex. Practitioners need to understand and navigate a range of barriers that can hold people back from fully engaging with child safety.
Housing and the home environment
Young children are most at risk of being seriously injured in an accident at home, with the main causes of these accidents being falls, scalds and burns, poisoning and fires. Factors that increase the risk of a young child suffering a serious accident in the home include poverty and overcrowding.
Public health commissioning for under 5s
Effective partnership working is recognised as a key way to reduce the number of children killed or seriously injured in accidents. It should form an important part of any area’s childhood unintentional injury prevention strategy and work plans. Forming and maintaining good partnerships requires time and effort, but it is an investment that will pay off.
House fires are a significant cause of death in pre-school children with 23 children aged 16 and under dying from fire in 2010-11. This includes accidential and non-accidential fires. Pre-school children are at greatest risk, making up almost 50% of these fire deaths.
Inequalities and deprivation
One child in five is living in poverty and two million children live in poor housing. Children from deprived families are far more likely to be killed, disabled or seriously injured in preventable accidents. Effective child accident prevention programmes can help give every child the best start in life, by reducing health inequalities between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers.