Countywide approach to keeping children safe

Warwickshire County Council and partners are using Child Safety Week to highlight how they are working together in a bid to cut preventable child accidents and hospital admission rates across the county.

Child Safety Week runs from 3 – 9 June and is an ideal time to raise awareness of how different services are working with families to keep children safe, particularly within the home.

This joined up approach to messages means services can reach more families and help reduce hospital admission rates. In Warwickshire we will be focusing on all areas of accident prevention, with priority being given to the three key areas of accidents reported, namely head injuries, soft tissue injuries and accidental poisoning.

Accidental poisoning is one of the highest causes of admission to hospital for children in Warwickshire. To raise awareness of how to avoid this, the county council, in partnership with the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) has chosen Child Safety Week, to launch an educational resource pack to every reception class across the county.

Sponsored by the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association and produced by CAPT, Staying Safe with Sam uses interactive stories, about a lion and his friends, to help children stay safe around laundry and cleaning products. Along with a rhyming storybook, each pack also contains a teacher’s handbook, posters and a pack for each child to take home. These include a factsheet for families, story and other activities.

Other support for reception and nursery classes comes from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) who are using Child Safety Week to reinforce safety messages to children and parents. The service has developed a fire engine activity box aimed at nursery settings, including firefighter uniforms, a role play pack, a story book and other resources with activity ideas to engage children with key safety messages. To date WFRS have reached 4,697 pre-school children and helped them to understand the importance of fire safety.

The county council’s website will provide additional information and resources to support parents and carers in keeping their children safe. A child accident prevention checklist is being developed based upon the different ages and developmental stages of children and Warwickshire’s popular road safety character Warwick Bear will now be joined by his family to share more tips and advice to help keep young children safe.

Councillor Les Caborn, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health said:

“Children are curious little adventurers, and it’s only natural for them to have accidents as they grow, develop and explore the environment around them. Child Safety Week is the perfect opportunity to remind parents and carers of how to keep their children safe, and share some advice around avoiding accidental harm. Admission rates for preventable accidents are high in Warwickshire and we must do all we can to support and educate our residents and get these numbers down.”

Councillor Andy Crump, portfolio holder for Fire and Rescue and Community Safety, added:

“It’s our top priority to keep people safe and independent and we can do this by helping them minimise risk of accidents. Child Safety Week offers a great opportunity for fire crews to go out in communities and work with children and families to teach them about fire safety and home safety in fun and interactive ways.

“The crews will be visiting nursery settings throughout the week and will also be visiting Warwick Hospital children’s A&E, meeting the children and providing further advice about staying safe.”