Accident recording and reporting in early years

Ensuring safety: Accident recording and reporting in early years and childcare Settings

Accidents are an inevitable part of childhood, but how we handle them in early years, and childcare settings can significantly impact the safety and wellbeing of children. Recording and reporting accidents is not just a legal requirement but also a crucial aspect of safeguarding children and providing quality care. In this blog, Anne delves into the importance of accident recording and reporting, explores relevant legislation and regulations, and offers best practices for ensuring the safety of children in these environments.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), over 1 million children under the age of 15 experience accidents at home each year.
  • In early years and childcare settings, common accidents include falls, cuts, burns, and choking incidents.
  • Proper recording and reporting of accidents can help identify patterns, assess risks, and prevent future incidents.

Key definitions

  • Accident - An unplanned event that results in injury, damage, or loss.
  • Recording - Documenting details of an accident, including the date, time, location, nature of the injury, and any action taken.
  • Reporting - Notifying relevant authorities, such as parents/guardians and regulatory bodies, about the occurrence of an accident.

Relevant legislation and regulations

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 - Requires employers to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of employees and others affected by their activities, including children in childcare settings.
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) - Mandates reporting specified workplace accidents, injuries, diseases, and dangerous occurrences to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - Set out statutory requirements for the welfare, learning, and development of children from birth to five years old, including guidelines for accident recording and reporting.

Best practices

  • Implement comprehensive accident reporting procedures - Develop clear protocols for staff to follow when an accident occurs, including who to notify, how to document the incident, and any required follow-up actions.
  • Train staff regularly - Provide ongoing training to staff members on accident prevention, recognition, and reporting, ensuring they understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • Create a safe environment - Conduct regular risk assessments of the premises and equipment, address hazards promptly, and maintain a clean and organised environment to minimise the risk of accidents.
  • Communicate with parents/guardians - Keep parents/guardians informed about any accidents involving their children, providing transparent and timely updates on the incident and any necessary medical attention.
  • Review and learn - Regularly review accident records to identify trends or recurring issues and take proactive measures to address underlying causes and prevent future accidents.


  • Invest in user-friendly accident recording tools or software to streamline the process and ensure accurate documentation.
  • Foster a safety culture within the organisation, where all staff members prioritise accident prevention and reporting.


Accident recording and reporting are integral to maintaining a safe and nurturing environment for children in early years and childcare settings. By adhering to relevant legislation, implementing best practices, and fostering open communication, we can ensure the wellbeing and safety of every child under our care.

Click here to explore our comprehensive training courses on accident prevention and reporting. Your commitment to safeguarding children starts with education and awareness.

About the author

Anne Rodgers

Anne has over 40 years of experience in the early years sector including owning and managing a chain of nurseries, lecturing and assessing and writing books, blogs and courses on early years. She is a real advocate for continual professional development so that early years staff remain current in their job roles and have the knowledge to help them provide high quality care and education to young children.

Ensuring safety: Accident recording and reporting in early years and childcare Settings - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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