Preventing heartache this Christmas - it’s the little things that matter

A little effort, a little forward planning and, above all, a little knowledge - just some of the little things that can make a big difference to people’s happiness this Christmas.

Little things like these are the focus of a new RoSPA initiative starting on Sunday and running for the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day.

The UK’s family safety charity hopes as many people as possible will join the conversation, sharing tips for little things that can have a big impact, keeping loved ones safe and perhaps even helping to cut the queues at A&E too.

Being rolled out across RoSPA’s website - - as well as on Twitter (@rospa #LittleThings) and Facebook (, Little Things is a great way for people to get involved in tackling accidents, which are the UK’s biggest killer of children, young people and young parents*.

For the 12 days from Sunday until Christmas Day, Twitter and Facebook will be updated daily with more little ideas, helping people to take a moment amidst their Christmas preparations to think about safety. RoSPA will also share the best ideas sent in by others.  

And the initiative won’t just be confined to Christmas - it will return in the New Year with a special focus on resolutions.

Tom Mullarkey, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “Accidents are the biggest preventable cause of death for most of our lives - yet they’re often caused by the littlest things. Thankfully, for all of the misery and heartache caused by accidents big and small, more often than not they could have been prevented by a little thing, like forward planning or knowledge. In the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day, when we know people are going to be busy with lots of other things, we’re sharing some ideas for little things that can make a big difference, but we’d like to hear from others too - from mums, dads, grandparents, carers, employers and anyone else who has a top tip.

“Together, all our little things really can make a big difference - not just in individual lives, but for the country as a whole. Perhaps nowhere is the burden of accidents felt more keenly than in our A&E departments, which are busy with patients who have suffered accidents. While our hard-working doctors and nurses do their best patching us up, we can all play a role in preventing accidents happening in the first place. What better Christmas present to give the NHS.”

*Accidents are the biggest killer of children and young people aged 0-19 years old - in 2012, there were 464 accident deaths in this age group in the UK. They also claim more lives than any other cause of death up to the age of 39, and are the biggest cause of preventable years of life lost (PrYLL) up to the age of 60. See

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