Keeping children safe

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) analysed data on England’s deaths and hospital admissions for five years from 2008-12 and found the following horrifying statistics.

  • There were approximately 40,000 emergency hospital admissions for under 5s each year as a result of an accident in the home.
  • An average of 62 deaths each year.

Identifying the most likely causes of injury and prevention is obviously the priority. However this article also contains First Aid advice and free resources showing you how to help with these accidents.

The top causes of serious injuries and fatalities were as follows and many of these could have been prevented:

  1. Choking, suffocation and strangulation
  2. Falls
  3. Poisoning
  4. Burns and scalds
  5. Drowning

Choking, suffocation and strangulation: was responsible for the largest number of deaths

Choking was predominantly due to food, but small toys were also a risk. Never leave your child unsupervised when eating.

Suffocation most frequently occurred in bed, as a result of pillows or a parent squashing them

The most common cause of strangulation was loose blind cords, but ribbons and bags should never be left on the side of a cot.

First Aid for choking:

Please click here to access our free choking course



choking graphic

choking baby back blows Babies – 5 back blows

choking bavby chest thrusts

followed by 5 chest thrusts

Falls: were responsible for the most accident related hospital admissions for under 5s – nearly 20,000 each year!

Falls were predominantly caused by the following:

Falls from furniture, falling downstairs, falls whilst being carried and falls from windows or balconies.

First Aid for falls:

They most important considerations with falls are head and spinal injuries and recognising signs of shock that could indicate internal bleeding or some other serious problem. It is important to understand when and how to move someone if they have fallen.

Generally, only move someone who has fallen if they are in immediate danger that you are unable to remove, or if they are unconscious and breathing and you are concerned about their airway.

Log roll with a suspected spinal injury

Click the picture to watch a video about when and how to move someone with a suspected spinal injury

Poisoning: About 21,000 under 5s attend A&E annually as a result of poisoning.

The main causes are medicines (70%) and household chemicals which result in about 20% of these admissions. Other causes are small button batteries and electronic cigarette refills.

Admissions due to poisoning are on the increase.

First Aid for Poisoning:

poisoning low res

Click on the picture above to watch a video about First Aid for poisoning

Burns and Scalds: One year olds are the most likely to be burnt and this is primarily due to hot drinks, pots and pans and bath water. Burns from hair straighteners are also relatively common as such items stay hot for such a long time. It is important not to underestimate the dangers posed by radiators and heated towel rails .

First Aid for burns and scalds:

burns first aid

Please click here to visit our article Burns – What to do to

Drowning: Was one of the highest causes of death. For very young children the main risk was the bath.

Babies and Toddlers can drown in as little as 5cm of water: they do not make any noise, do not struggle and just slip away and so there is no warning to alert you to the problem.

drowning - first aid, how to help

Click the picture above to watch First Aid for drowning

Written by Emma Hammett from First Aid for life and The Leading UK Provider of Online First Aid Training

First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. empowering you to learn vital skills when it suits you.

Emma Hammett

First Aid for Life

0208 675 4036

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