Hundreds of child accident victims hospitalised a year in Wigan

Hundreds of children were admitted to hospital with injuries in Wigan in just one year, figures reveal.
Older children are more likely to have walking and cycling accidentsOlder children are more likely to have walking and cycling accidents
Older children are more likely to have walking and cycling accidents

The Child Accident Prevention Trust says tens of thousands of parents in England experience their “worst nightmare” each year as they rush a child to the emergency room.

Public Health England data shows there were 655 hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries to children aged up to 14 in Wigan in 2019-20.

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That equated to 113 admissions for every 10,000 youngsters in the area – unchanged from the previous year’s figure. This was compared to an average rate across England, of 91.

Unintentional injuries – which make up the majority of admissions according to the CAPT – refer to external causes of harm, such as sporting accidents, falls and burns, while deliberate injuries include different types of assaults and deliberate self-harm.

Across England, there were 93,000 hospital admissions due to children suffering injuries in 2019-20 – among more than one million over a decade.

The CAPT said parents can help bring the number of injuries down by staying one step ahead of their developing children.

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Chief executive Katrina Phillips said: “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, rushing their child to hospital, gripped by anxiety about just how serious the accident may be, and it’s a fear experienced by tens of thousands of families each year.

“Accidents often happen when young children can suddenly do something they couldn’t the day before – reaching a hot drink, crawling to the stairs or opening painkillers. For older children, accidents most often occur when they’re out cycling or walking.”

In Wigan, toddlers were more likely to end up in hospital than those aged five and over, according to PHE. In 2019-20, children aged up to four accounted for 240 hospital admissions – 131 in every 10,000.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said parents and carers should arm themselves with knowledge and information to protect children from injuries around the house.

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Between 2017-18 and 2019-20, the most common unintentional injuries to toddlers in England came from falls, accidental poisoning and exposure to inanimate mechanical forces, which includes cuts from sharp objects such as knives. In Wigan, there were 220, 60 and 125 such incidents respectively during this period.

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