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Report shows devastating trend of accidental injuries

View profile for Dan Thompson
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A new report has highlighted the disturbing number of accidents that children across the UK encounter each year, as well as revealing that accidental injury is now the leading cause of death in boys aged between one and four, and in young people aged 10 to 19.  Dan Thompson, Personal Injury Partner, here reviews the report, explaining where it is most likely that these accidents can occur and how we can all work to make them less likely.

The State of Child Health Report has been produced by The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) to raise awareness of child safety across the UK and how improvements can be made in terms of safety measures.  “Amongst the many statistics in the report is the fact that in 2016, 45,000 children under the age of five were admitted to hospital as a result of an accident,” explains Dan.  “A number of these unfortunately proved fatal; of the 800 children aged one to nine who pass away each year in the UK, one in eight of these are caused by accidents.” 

Where do these accidents happen?

A high number of these accidents happen in the home, mostly due to fire, faulty equipment, slips and trips, or falls.  “However, these types of accidents also occur outside of the home and are common in places such as schools, early year’s settings and public playgrounds,” continues Dan.  “The occupiers of such premises have the same responsibility as business and land owners in terms of ensuring the health and safety of those using their facilities.”

These environments see numerous accidents happen on playgrounds, with 40,000 injuries to children occurring on playgrounds each year resulting in a hospital visit.  “Accidental injuries can happen in playgrounds for a variety of reasons, including poor equipment design and layout, unsuitable equipment, poor inspection or maintenance and incorrect installation,” continues Dan.  “There can also be accidents occur when there is a lack of supervision or misuse of the equipment, particularly on public playgrounds.”

Accidental injuries on our roads

A number of young fatalities across the UK are also as a result of collisions on our roads.  The RCPCH report shows that in 2015 there were 847 reported car driver or passenger deaths or serious injuries amongst 17-19 year olds.  “Rather surprisingly, it’s the summer months that see more injuries on our roads opposed to winter months as children spend more time outside and choose to walk or cycle to school,” explains Dan.  “An RAC survey recently showed that most collisions occur between 3pm and 4pm, as well as 8am and 9am, coinciding with rush hour and school hours.  It’s important that children are not discouraged from playing outside or undertaking physical exercise to get to and from school, so it’s the responsibility of drivers to be safer on our roads.”

Dan concludes, “The very nature of an accident is that it could have been avoided, and so this report asks for us all to consider how we can make our homes, roads, schools and playgrounds safer places for our children.  Here at Warner Goodman, we often see the consequences of accidents and road collisions such as these, and have many years experience in helping families to rebuild their lives through rehabilitation and compensation.”

If you or your child has had an accident and you’d like advice, you can contact Dan or the Injury team on 0800 91 92 30 or email  For more information from RCPCH about safety in the home or in schools, you can visit their website here, or find out more about Child Safety Week in June here


This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.