By Nigel Praities
GPs should monitor families on home visits and provide ‘child-focused home safety advice' if needed, according to new NICE guidance.
NICE has published a set of new guidance documents on the prevention of unintentional injuries in children which contains a number of recommendations for GPs.
The guidance recommends GPs integrate home safety into other visits and provide ‘child-focused home safety advice' or refer families for specialist advice.
The guidance also instructs local safeguarding children's boards, A&E and out-of-hours services to inform GPs if a child repeatedly needs treatment for unintentional injuries or an attendance raises concerns, and may need a home safety assessment.
'[GPs should] recognise the importance of measures to prevent unintentional injuries in the home among children and young people aged under 15, particularly among those living in disadvantaged circumstances. Provide child-focused home safety advice. If the family or carers agree, refer them to agencies that can undertake a home safety assessment and can supply and install home safety equipment,' the guidance says.
Professor Mike Kelly, NICE public health director, said: 'Injuries in the home are the leading cause of unintentional injuries for children aged under five, including falls, burns and scalds, drowning, suffocation and poisoning.'
'We recommend that help should be offered to parents and carers who may not necessarily have the appropriate information or tools to identify risks in their homes or may not have the money to buy and install the right equipment.'NICE urges GPs to take greater role in child injury prevention