Each year in England, an average of 60 children under five years die from injuries in and around the home. There are also approximately 40,000 emergency hospital admissions and 450,000 visits to A&E departments. 
Admission rates in the most deprived areas (home injuries) are 45% higher than the least deprived areas.  Treating unintentional Injury costs the NHS over £2 billion each year (CMO 2013).


Children under 5 account for a disproportionately high number of deaths and a large number of hospital admissions.  Public Health England (PHE 2014) advise that Local Authorities treat this group as a priority for action, and have identified five of the most common and serious types of injuries for under-fives which services and professionals should focus on: choking/suffocation/strangulation; falls; burns and scalds; poisoning; and drowning.  


Unintentional injuries are a major health inequality (PHE 2014), and there are significant differences in rates of unintentional injury among children between different social groups (Marmot 2010).  Although deaths from unintentional injury have decreased, children from poorer backgrounds are 13 times more like to die in an accident (CAPT 2016).  


Interventions to reduce unintentional injury should be considered in the terms of the ‘4 Es’, Enforcement, Engineering, Education and Empowerment.  (PHE 2014).  


Click here to view Child Saftey Strategy
Click here to view Unintentional Injuries data



In 2015/16, the rate of children and young people (0-14 years) admitted to hospital as a result of unintentional or deliberate injury in Northumberland  (130.1 per 10,000) was  significantly worse than the England average (104.2 per 10,000).


In 2015/16, the rate of young people (15-24 years) admitted to hospital as a result of unintentional or deliberate injury in Northumberland  (176.4 per 10,000) was  significantly worse than the England average (134.1 per 10,000).

In 2014, 18.9 % of children (under 16 years) in Northumberland  were living in poverty; this is better than the England average (20.1%).

The most common injuries and reasons for attendance at A/E in Northumberland children aged 0-17 in 2014 - 2015 were:

  • Dislocation/fracture/joint injury

  • Bruises and grazes

  • Sprain/ ligament injury/ cuts

Work collaboratively to oversee the development and implementation of a county wide plan.


Use available data to identify local needs and priorities in relation to reducing unintended child injury.


Support the development of pathways that facilitate timely and effective preventative measures.


Ensure the needs of the more vulnerable groups are identified and met.


Ensure priorities are aligned through local data and are responsive to the views of the local community.


Topic themes will be underpinned by national policy and guidance and will include:

  • Choking, suffocation and strangulation

  • Falls

  • Poisoning

  • Burns and scalds

  • Drowning

Aged under five (generally under 5s are more vulnerable to unintentional injuries in the home)


Have a disability or impairment (physical or learning)


Are from some minority groups


Live in a family on a low income


Live in accommodation that potentially puts them more at risk (this could include multiple-occupied housing, social and privately rented housing)



The Chart Below shows the Rate of hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in children aged 0-4 years, 0-14 years and 15-24 years, per 10,000 resident population" over a 6 year period.  

Source "Public Health England: Unintentional Injuries

A & E attendances by diagnosi

In 2014/15 there were 414 A&E attendances per 1,000 children and young people aged 0-17.  This continues the slight increase from 408 per 1,000 in 2012/13.


Source Northumberland CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group and NECS (North of England Commissioning Support Unit)






Activities to prevent unintentional injuries to children in Northumberland


Universal service plus additional targeting as needed by Health Visiting NHS Team.


Regular discussion of safety issues from primary visit onwards.


3-4 month contact carried out by Health Visitor or Nursery Nurse which explicitly addresses child safety - Universal.


Universal Home safety assessment, advice on safety issues, referral to free or low cost safety equipment scheme.  


Vulnerable families referred to Fire and Rescue Service for home and fire safety assessment and fitting of smoke alarms.


Additional contacts up to 1 year with some families targeted for additional contacts.  Safety issues advised as necessary.


Home visits, targeted -as identified by Health Visiting Team following child’s attendance at A&E with an unintentional injury.  


Baby lifesaving and first aid courses - bespoke.


Child accident prevention courses for parents and carers - bespoke.


Children’s Centres - variety of activities throughout county, including the following, but varying in different areas.  Services are universal but may be targeted in some areas.


Provide child safety information and welcome pack to all new births via children’s centre registrations.  


Target home safety assessments and referral to free or low cost safety equipment schemes as appropriate.


Referral to Fire and Rescue Service for home and fire safety assessment and fitting of smoke alarms.


Regular child safety events throughout year, including child safety week, safety days with other agencies, child safety road shows, poster displays.


Child Safety locality groups to engage with relevant partners and joint promotion of locality themes.


Baby lifesaving and first aid courses - variable.


Child prevention for parents and carers e.g. car seat safety workshops.


Other courses provided including for example safe babysitting, fire safety stay and play, fire safety training.


Target specific groups of areas of concern including: high attendances at A&E, e.g. gypsy traveller safety and rural child safety.


Car restraint training for mums, dads and carers.


Provision of high visibility jackets for first school aged children.


One off and regular events including Child Safety Week, Road Safety Week and ‘Beep Beep’ Day.


Injury Prevention Coordinators (NHS)


Collaborate with child safety locality groups to maintain a coordinated approach to preventing unintentional injuries among child and young people 0-19 years.


Identify and contribute to national and local safety themed campaigns.


Deliver child safety and accident prevention training to frontline practitioners.


Promote resources to support injury interventions.


Contribute to education campaigns to encourage water, road and cycle safety.


Public Health School Nursing


Address safety as part of targeted health needs assessment.


School health support for children and young people with particular behaviours and lifestyle risks,  identifying risk factors and promoting resilience and engagement.


Northumberland County Council Road Safety Department


Safer Routes to Schools - a dedicated School Travel Advisor who assists all Northumberland schools with producing school Travel Plans.  These address road safety concerns such as dangerous parking around school gates and include measures to encourage walking, cycling and other healthier, more sustainable ways of getting to school.


School Crossing Patrols.


20 mph zones and advisory signing.


A child pedestrian safety training scheme, ‘Kerbcraft’ targeting year 1 and year 2 children.


A Road Safety Training presentation, ‘safer places’ and ‘Crossroads’, adapted for children between preschool age and 11 years.


A recent new road safety resource, ‘Ghost Street’ is now being introduced into schools, aimed at the 11 yr - 16 yr age groups.


Present/facilitate Road Safety scenarios at ‘Safety Works’ in Newcastle, whenever schools from Northumberland attend.


Support and have an ongoing cycle training scheme, ‘Bikeability’ for both level 1 & 2, targeting children between the ages of 8 yrs to 11 yrs.


Work with the ‘Northumberland Community Initiatives’, (Castle Morpeth Disability Association), visiting 1st schools providing road safety messages from the perspective of disabled people.


Participation with the ‘Good Egg Guide’ National safety campaign programme for the correct fitting of child car safety seats, with Sure Start Children’s Centres within Northumberland. It is intended to develop this programme as an information safety resource within Northumberland.


An annual poster campaign relating to Drink Driving at Christmas time, particularly targeting the young driver.


Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service


Home Fire Safety Checks (including Enhanced Check)


Home Fire Safety Checks (HFSCs) are assessments of fire risk in the home, which are conducted by NFRS personnel throughout Northumberland.  


This service, which includes the installation of smoke alarms, is free of charge and also involves the provision of alarms designed for those who are hard of hearing.  Referrals are received from a number of partner agencies including Adult Services, Supporting Families Team and Social Housing providers.  


Young Firefighters Association (YFA)


YFA is a cadet scheme, branches of which are based at a number of fire stations throughout Northumberland.  Membership is open to young people aged 13-18 years and, as well as learning basic firefighting techniques and working towards a BTEC in Fire and Rescue Services in the Community, cadets learn about the importance of keeping themselves and their communities safe.


Schools and Community Education


NFRS personnel deliver key safety messages in schools and to other community settings; e.g. Sure Start, where the focus of education provided for parents centres on a reduction in the number of burns and scalds sustained by children.  Sessions in schools tend to cover broader safety areas including water and road safety and raise awareness of the role of the Fire and Rescue Service in keeping with the community safe.


Firesetters Intervention Programme


Education about the dangers and consequences of fire-setting or making hoax calls is delivered by NFRS personnel to children and young people who have been responsible for such behaviour.  Referrals are received via a number of routes including Target Adolescent Services, family members and schools.  


Prince’s Trust Team Programme


A twelve week personal development programme aimed at 16-25 year olds who are not in employment, education or training.  Whilst the course’s primary focus is on improving the employability prospects of young people through raising self-esteem and developing key skills, this is fostered in an environment that fosters safety and well-being.  Although unintentional injuries are less pertinent for this age group, young people may experience injury as a symptom of other ‘unintentional’ issues such self harm associated with poor mental health.  


Home loan safety equipment


There is currently no home loan safety equipment/fitting scheme available (due to funding issues).  Work is ongoing to address this.


Road Safety Drama for Schools

Not all schools take up the offer that is available to them.  


Public Health England


Reducing unintentional injuries in and around the home among children under the age of five years.




Reducing unintentional injuries on the roads among children and young people under 25 years.




NICE Guidance


NICE develops guidance to support health and social care professionals to make sure that care provided (including primary prevention) is of the best quality. The guidance is intended for use by the NHS, local authorities, charities and anyone commissioning healthcare, public health or social care services.





Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA)


ROSPA is a registered charity at the heart of accident prevention in the UK for almost 100 years. It promotes safety and the prevention of accidents at work, at leisure, on the road, in the home and through safety education.




Childhood Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT)


CAPT is the leading charity in the UK working to reduce the number of children and young people who are killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents.




There are several of guidance documents which highlight the following approaches:

  • Legislation;

  • Environment changes;

  • Use of safety equipment;

  • Education;

  • Skill building; and

  • Multi-faceted approaches.

Making the Link (CAPT supported by the Department for Transport)


Making the Link provides tools to encourage effective partnership working to reduce deaths and hospital admissions from child accidents.




Provide support with:

  • Policy

  • Data and Statistics

  • Commissioning

  • Strategy










It was estimated that a minimum of 1185 parents/carers accessed information on falls  whilst attending Children’s Centres in Northumberland.   




It is estimated a minimum of 1,208 parents/carers accessed poisons information through events, parent groups or by generally attending Children’s Centres in Northumberland.





228 families were counted as accessing choking information through parent groups and a minimum of 722 accessed information whilst passing through Children’s Centres in Northumberland.  




Northumberland Children and Young People’s Safety Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2020


Reducing unintentional injuries in and around the home among children under five years 2014 (Public Health England)



Reducing unintentional injuries on the roads among children and young people under 25 years 2014 (Public Health England)



Preventing unintentional injury in under 15s, NICE quality standard (QS107) 2016



Child Health Profile March 2017 PHE