The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has warned that accidental injury is the leading cause of death for boys aged one to four.

In a report launched at the Houses of Parliament, senior doctors also reveal:

  • Over 800 children aged one to nine die each year in the UK. One in eight of these deaths are caused by accidents.
  • Last year, over 45,000 under-fives were admitted to hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales as a result of accidents.
  • Almost three-quarters of these accidents happened at home.
  • Nearly 1,300 young people aged 10 to 19 die each year in the UK. One in three of these deaths are caused by accidents.
  • Accidental injury is the leading cause of death for young people aged 10 to 19.
  • There is a strong link between deprivation and the risk of death throughout childhood.

Accidents are preventable

The Royal College is worried that accidents are preventable but remain a leading cause of death, ill-health and disability for children in the UK. They stress that:

  • A reduction in accidental injuries can be achieved at low cost, particularly through parent education and local co-ordination.
  • Health, education and social care early years professionals need training to prevent accidents in early years’ settings, and to educate and support parents in accident prevention.
  • Local authorities have a responsibility to provide strategic leadership for injury prevention, bringing together a very wide range of services from diverse sectors including health, education, social care, housing and emergency services.

What can you do?

The Royal College says everyone has a role to play in preventing childhood accidents. You can play your part by:

  • Using our low cost parent education resources.
  • Signing up to Child Safety Week (5-11 June). Sign up and we’ll send you free advice on effective parental education and local co-ordination.
  • Commissioning our training for early years professionals.
  • Attending our free Public Health England supported events [LINK TO NEW WEB PAGE, COPY TO FOLLOW] for commissioners and managers of public health, early years and health visiting services:
  • London: Thursday 2 March 2017
  • Leeds: Tuesday 7 March 2017
  • Bristol: Friday 10 March 2017
  • Birmingham: Thursday 23 March 2017.

Every child’s death is a tragedy. Far too many children still die from preventable accidents. Please help us make 2017 the year the heartache stops.