Health professionals are claiming there are too many young children suffering serious accidents in Scotland.
They are calling on the Government to pour £2 million every year into a new scheme to reduce the strain on the country’s A&E departments.
The under-5s are one of a three of age groups that are treated for an excessive amount of accidents in A&E, according to a new report. The others are the 70-plus and 15-24 groups.
Young children represent one in 14 (7%) of each hospital emergency case, say the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) and Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
The groups say this medical care cost the Scottish NHS £18 million across 2013/14.
Campaign aims to lower A&E cases
The RCEM and RoSPA say under-5-specific injury prevention schemes aimed at parents and children are the best way of lowering injuries, hospital admissions and A&E trips.
Over 7 in 10 (72%) accident injuries to this age group happen in their homes.
Scotland Home Safety Equipment Scheme and other similar injury prevention initiatives have already shown to be successful and cheap. The scheme provides families with safety equipment along with expert education. This has led to such hospital admissions being lowered by 29%.
RCEM and RoSPA officials want the new scheme to see a similar combination of safety apparatus and expert advice. They say their perfect scenario would be for RoSPA-educated safety teachers to point out each safety hazard on home visits.
This could lead to the installation of fireguards, safety gates and other safety features where necessary.
Playgroup-age children at risk
At-risk playgroup age children’s accidents are largely preventable, says RoSPA. The Society’s chief executive Tom Mullarkey says the sooner action is taken on this, the sooner the strain on Scottish A&E departments can be addressed.
He says their action plan would not be expensive, but would make a large difference. It could save money and makes some of the accident-related devastation preventable.
Date Published: March 11, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown