Dr Julie Mytton, Director of the Child Injury Health Integration Team (CIPIC HIT) gives an update of the HIT's activities in 2017-18.
This year our main focus has been a Child Injury Health Needs Assessment to better understand the burden of child injuries in the Bristol area. This involved identifying and collating different sources of information on child injuries, to gain a picture of the number of children who sustain different types of injuries and how these vary by age and gender. We also collated information on the different agencies who deliver child injury prevention activities.
We found that the best quality data was about children who had been admitted to hospital because of their injuries. The most common type of injury in children under five was falls, followed by burns and scalds occurring in the home environment. For children of school age falls outside the home were the most frequent reason for admission, followed by road and traffic injuries. While this information is helpful, we know that the majority of children who are injured do not get admitted to hospital. They are seen in the Emergency Department and either discharged or followed up in outpatients. So an important gap in our knowledge is the burden of injuries in children who don't get admitted to hospital.
The findings of the Child Injury Health Needs Assessment were presented at a multi-agency meeting held at the Create Centre in Bristol on 20 February 2018. During this event, a workshop helped define the activities we'll pursue during 2018-19 to improve our understanding of child injuries. We will explore the opportunities for better injury data through the Bristol-wide developments in digitisation and joined-up data led by Connecting Care, and the previously unused data held in schools and children’s care settings in their incident and accident logs.
Other activities this year included auditing child injury prevention activities in the Bristol area against the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Public Health guidance. We found we met the quality standard for home safety assessments and promoting and enforcing speed reduction in areas where children and young people might be. Further work is needed on developing policies for outdoor play and leisure that take a balanced approach which promotes physical activity and reduces the risk of injury. We are conducting a study to explore the feasibility of using routinely collected information on children presenting to, or admitted to, the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children with a traumatic brain injury to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for children’s head injuries.
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