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Accidents don’t have to happen

  • Date published:

  • Author: callumkimberley

Accidents are among the leading, but preventable, causes of death, serious injury and long-term disability affecting our children, and they have been increasing in number. Hospital admissions as a result of accidents have also been rising.

The odd knocks or scrapes are part of growing up. They are how we learn about the world around us. As parents we accept this: but we can’t accept the tragic consequences of life-changing accidents. Sadly, accidents involving children continue to devastate lives. The largest number of accidents happen in the living or dining room, but the most serious accidents happen in the kitchen and on the stairs. Every year more than 67,000 children experience an accident in the kitchen and it doesn’t have to be like this. By getting down to our kids’ level and seeing the world through their eyes, we can spot dangers, and help to keep them safe.

Have some fun with your kids to look for hazards around the house

It can be difficult to know when to call an ambulance and when to take your child to the accident and emergency department (A&E). Use the following as a guide:

Call an ambulance if your child:
  • stops breathing
  • is struggling for breath (for example, you may notice them breathing fast, panting, becoming very wheezy, or see the muscles just under their ribcage sucking in when they breathe in)
  • is unconscious or seems unaware of what’s going on
  • has a cut that won’t stop bleeding or is gaping open
  • won’t wake up
  • has a fit for the first time, even if they seem to recover
Take your child to A&E if they:
  • have a fever and are still sluggish, despite having paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • have severe tummy (abdominal) pain
  • have a leg or arm injury and can’t use the limb
  • have swallowed a poison or tablets


If you’re worried about your child and aren’t sure if they need medical help, call NHS 111.  If you’re unsure whether you should move your child, make sure they’re warm and call an ambulance.

For more information and tips on preventing accidents please visit;

Healthier Together

Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT)

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA)