Effective interventions and services

March 2013

As far as possible, commissioners should focus on implementing accident prevention programmes that are known to work. This section covers where to find information about effective, evidence-based accident prevention interventions and services. It also highlights some examples of good practice in child accident prevention.

Finding out about evidence-based interventions

There are many interventions which have been proven to have a significant positive effect on children and young people, whether it is on accident rates or simply encouraging safer behaviour. Useful sources of information about evidence-based interventions include:

Examples of good practice

The following short case studies describe a range of effective approaches to accident prevention. See the case studies section of our website for more examples of good practice.

Avonsafe – hair straightener safety

The Avonsafe partnership campaign developed a hair straightener safety campaign based around a thought-provoking stunt – cooking a traditional English breakfast on a pair of straighteners – which would grab the attention of the media and the public. Local Avonsafe teams worked closely together to organise awareness-raising activities including poster design competitions and publicity events. During Child Safety Week 2012, Avonsafe NHS Bristol organised the sale of heat protective pouches at a subsidised price through the Lifeskills home safety equipment scheme.

Avonsafe built on the work of other organisations to develop its campaign. Rob Benington, Injury Prevention Manager for NHS Bristol and co-ordinator of Avonsafe, says: “The very successful campaign run by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was a great starting point for us and we also used resources developed by the Scottish Burned Children’s Club. Rather than reinventing the wheel, it makes sense to take what’s already out there and tailor it to your own needs – and, of course, people should feel free to use and adapt Avonsafe’s campaign materials too.”

Find out more in our Avonsafe 2012 campaigns case study.

Home safety equipment schemes

Liverpool – Safe and Sound

Liverpool’s Safe & Sound scheme was set up in January 2010 with funding and support from the national Safe At Home initiative. The scheme was run by local Sure Start children’s centres in partnership with Merseyside Fire Support Network, the charity arm of the fire service. When central government funding came to an end in March 2011, the partners secured funding from Liverpool City Council to continue running the scheme until March 2012. The partners used some of the funding to commission an evaluation of the project from the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University.

From January 2010 to December 2011, a total of 5,440 families received equipment through the Safe & Sound scheme. Telephone surveys conducted as part of the evaluation found that 91% of respondents thought the equipment provided had prevented their children from sustaining injuries. 51% felt that the equipment directly prevented accidents in the home, while 38% said it made them feel safer or created peace of mind.

A comparison of data from before and during the intervention showed no change in the mean number of emergency department attendances for injuries that occurred at home, and only a small decrease in ambulance call-outs. However, the report’s authors say that it was positive to note that no increases were observed. The report concludes with a number of recommendations for improving the scheme, including further evaluation to capture some of the longer term effects of the intervention and widening eligibility from children under the age of two to those under five.

London – Welcare

In London, Welcare’s home safety equipment scheme reached 15,000 families over 12 years. A survey conducted by Tower Hamlets PCT looked at A&E attendances for children before and after Welcare started delivering the home safety scheme. The data revealed a 4.5% reduction (from April 2010 to March 2011) in children's A&E attendances in Tower Hamlets. Although it is difficult to attribute the reduction to one factor alone, it was considered very likely that the drop in admissions was linked to the home safety equipment scheme. Find out more in our Welcare case study.

NHS Wakefield – safe trampolining

The members of Wakefield’s working group on accident prevention became concerned about the number of 5–11 year olds having serious falls from playground equipment. On looking closer at the data, they found that the level of this kind of injury in one particular street was three times higher than for any other postcode. They turned to Google Maps to see if they could find anything unusual about this street and saw that every garden had a trampoline.

This insight led to a summer 2011 campaign to promote the safe use of trampolines at home. The programme involved free trampolining lessons and activity sheets for children, an awareness campaign in the local newspaper and an information sheet for parents giving practical advice on how to keep children safe when trampolining. The initial campaign developed into a three-year programme and the council’s sports and healthy lifestyles team appointed a community sports coach with responsibility for trampolining. See our NHS Wakefield case study for more information.

Piloting new ideas

There may be times when you aren’t able to identify an evidence-based intervention that meets your local needs, so decide to develop a pilot project to test out a new approach. With pilot projects it’s especially important to plan how the intervention will be monitored and evaluated, so that you can measure its success, make the case for continuing or expanding the service, and share your learnings with others working in child accident prevention.

Share your learning

You can help to spread good practice by sharing your learnings through your local networks and with other professionals nationally by submitting case studies or resources to Making the Link – you can email us at info@makingthelink.net

Related links

Making the Link

Updated June 2013