University of Leicester health scientists contribute to report on children's safety

Posted by pt91 at Oct 12, 2017 12:40 PM |
Simple preventive actions by parents linked to fewer child injuries

Issued by University of Leicester on 12 October 2017

University of Leicester health scientists have contributed to major research on children’s safety.

Stephanie Hubbard, Professor Alex Sutton and Professor Nicola Cooper from the University’s Department of Health Sciences provided a major contribution to the research in collaboration with researchers at the University of Nottingham and several other institutions across the UK.

Their research has been summarised in an NIHR Signal. Signals are accessible, actionable summaries of recent, important health research that aim to put good research evidence at the heart of decision making in the NHS, public health and social care.

The research was funded by a 5-year National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) programme grant and focused on the prevention of unintentional injuries in the home in the under-fives. In the study, parental behaviours, use of safety equipment and home hazards were compared amongst similar children under five years who either had or hadn’t been injured at home and attended hospital.

Researchers found:

  • Babies aged 0 to 12 months who attended hospital following a fall from furniture were five times more likely to be left on raised surfaces compared to controls
  • Parents of children up to five years who attended hospital after a fall on stairs were more than twice as likely as parents of controls not to use stair gates at home and three times more likely to leave gates open
  • Parents of a child attending hospital for a scald were twice as likely as parents of controls to have households where hot drinks are left in reach of children
  • Parents of a child attending hospital for a poisoning were twice as likely as the parents of controls not to put medicines away straight after use
  • A number of other behaviours were also linked to hospital-attended injury. These included not teaching children about safety rules, storing medicines and household products within reach, and having stairs in need of repair.

Professor Cooper said: “This collaborative project has proved to be very impactful. As well as being promoted as an NIHR Signal and informing NICE guidance on strategies to prevent unintentional injuries among children, important methodological developments for evaluation were realised among the 37 papers published from this 5-year research project.”

The scale of the problem led researchers to recommend that all staff give safety advice to parents of children under five years old.

The researchers have produced a NICE-endorsed Injury Prevention Briefing, a commissioning guide, and online content for GPs and parents.


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact: Professor Nicola Cooper

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