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Mums want help from health visitors to prevent childhood accidents

New research shows that mums are unaware of the hazards facing their children in the home and want help from health visitors.

The findings, from a survey of mums on the online portal NetMums come as the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) launches Child Safety Week 2009 to help raise awareness among parents and health professionals of the risks to children of death or serious injury from accidents.

The NetMums survey shows that mums of under-fives worry far more about their children being harmed on the roads, despite the majority of hospitalisations as a result of accidents actually taking place in the home.

This lack of awareness of dangers in the home, coupled with the new risks that modern living poses means that parents are in need of up-to-date advice from nurses, midwives and health visitors. Despite 79% of mums thinking they should be able to get information about accidents from health visitors, they are turning to their own mums and friends with children for advice instead - whose knowledge may not be as good.

Commenting on Child Safety Week, Katrina Philips, Chief Executive of the CAPT, said: "With the rapid pace of modern life and the speed at which children develop, it can be a challenge for parents to stay one step ahead in preventing serious accidents. Child Safety Week is about supporting parents in developing good habits around safety, and nurses, midwives and health visitors are uniquely placed to get accurate messages across that parents can relate to.

"Our aim with Child Safety Week is to help practitioners to do this as effectively as possible. The massive support throughout the UK from the wide range of health professionals working in primary care, secondary care and in the community makes Child Safety Week a real force for change."

Fiona Smith, Adviser in Children's and Young People's Nursing, Royal College of Nursing, commented: "Nurses, midwives and health visitors all have an important role to play in helping to get messages out to local parents and families about accident prevention. Child Safety Week offers a great platform for talking to parents about simple steps they can take to reduce the risk of accidents, especially within the home."

The CAPT has distributed Child Safety Week resources to health professional, nurseries, children's centres, childminders, teachers and safety officers throughout the UK to give information and advice about getting involved and encourage partnership working."

Child Safety Week