Developing a child injury prevention resource library

February 2014

A child injury prevention resource library can help local practitioners who work with children and families to find and use high quality resources to support their injury prevention programmes and activities. It can help to promote consistent messages across a local area, reduce the amount of time spent on finding suitable resources, and achieve cost-efficiencies in the ordering of paid-for resources.

What is a child injury prevention resource library?

A child injury prevention resource library is a collection of resources on childhood injuries and injury prevention that practitioners who work with children and families can use in their work. The library might focus solely on child injury prevention or form part of a wider resource covering, for example, public health, injury prevention across all age groups, or health promotion. The types of content it might offer include:

  • links to webpages providing information about childhood injuries and injury prevention
  • downloadable information sheets and activities
  • local and national data on childhood injuries
  • information about how practitioners can order resources from suppliers, perhaps including a centralised online request / ordering system
  • physical resources such as leaflets, posters and visual aids.

Most of the resources can be collated on a website that practitioners can access whenever and wherever they need to. Physical resources could be stored at a children’s centre or another location in the community that is easy for practitioners to access, or perhaps at the office of a local injury prevention co-ordinator.

In East Sussex, health promotion resources are made available to practitioners in both printed and downloadable formats, with some teaching aids and models available for loan. In Bradford, the local health promotion library has a dedicated injury prevention section which includes leaflets as well as resources such as DVD packs and ‘baby burns dolls’, which practitioners from a wide range of agencies can use with parents and carers.

Why develop a child injury prevention resource library?

A child injury prevention resource library can be a valuable way of providing local practitioners who work with children and families with high quality information and resources to use when delivering injury prevention programmes and activities. As a centralised resource used by practitioners across a local area, it can help to:

  • make sure resources are targeted to local needs
  • avoid duplication of effort in sourcing materials
  • improve the quality of resources being used
  • reduce time spent by practitioners in finding suitable materials or producing their own
  • promote good practice through sharing good locally-produced resources
  • promote the use of consistent messages across the area
  • support co-ordinated and cost-efficient buying of resources.

Tips for developing a child injury prevention resource library

  • Engage with local practitioners at an early stage of the project: you should work with local practitioners to assess their needs for child injury prevention resources. This could involve holding workshops or running a survey to gather information about:
    • what resources practitioners currently use and what they think of them
    • where practitioners get resources from
    • whether practitioners develop their own resources
    • the different contexts in which practitioners use resources
    • whether there’s a need for providing resources in different languages or in pictorial formats for people who have poor literacy
    • any ‘gaps’ in resource topics and types that practitioners would like to see filled.
  • Incorporate other local information into the needs assessment stage: a local accident prevention activity map would give you valuable information about the services being delivered by local practitioners and the audiences being reached. Local A&E data on the causes of childhood injuries would help with identifying priority topic areas for the resource library.
  • Be selective when choosing resources for the library: rather than including lots of resources that cover the same topic, try to choose just the best and most useful resources. Get feedback from practitioners to help with the selection process. Make sure that the resources you include are well-matched to practitioners’ needs and the context in which they’ll be using them. For any paid-for resources, consider both the value for money the resources offer and how reliable the supply will be.
  • Work with local partners and share good practice: engage local organisations involved in child injury prevention and seek their input and feedback throughout the needs assessment and development stages of the project. You might find there are high quality resources that local organisations have produced which other practitioners would find useful.
  • Start small and build up gradually: if time or resources are tight, you could consider limiting the scope of your child injury prevention resource library and widening it out to other topics at a later time. You could, for example, have an initial focus on under fives or home safety, and add resources relating to older age groups or topics such as road safety at a later time.

Share your ideas

If you’ve been involved in developing a child injury prevention resource library, let us know any other advice or suggestions that others might find useful. Email your input to info@makingthelink.net and we will share it here.

Updated July 2014