Council uses Child Safety Week to help people to take steps to minimise accidents

Warwickshire County Council is supporting annual Child Safety Week next week (1-7 June), a national awareness campaign from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT).

The council and its partners work together every day to protect children and families, but uses the week to give extra focus to some of the support available to help people keep their children safe at home, at play and on the roads.

Throughout the week the council will be sharing advice and themed posts around some of the actions people can take to keep children safe. For Child Safety Week tips and learning resources follow WCC on Facebook and Twitter or sign up to the Family Information Service Newsletter for a whole host of information.

With the pandemic requiring people to spend almost all their time at home, a rise in the number of preventable household accidents has been reported. The daily challenge for many of working and home schooling whilst taking care of children can easily lead to distraction. Accidents resulting in scalds, falls, choking, cuts and poisoning can be avoided by taking time each day to ensure children have a safe and supervised area to play in. People should check that electrical items are off, hot things, chemicals and medications are out of reach and toys are age appropriate and cleared away.

Worryingly the council has had a couple of reports of children falling from upstairs windows, resulting in the need for specialist hospital care for significant head injuries. The sunny weather and isolation keep us inside much more, so windows are likely to be left open in the hope of catching a breeze.

People are urged to take extra care when opening windows and not to leave small children unattended near them. If possible, for extra peace of mind, window catches, locks or restrictors are recommended.

Tragic accidents caused by parents co-sleeping with their babies have also occurred as babies who cannot roll away are at risk of suffocation. The best way to keep babies safe when they’re sleeping is in a cot of their own.

Warwickshire County Councillor Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said:

“We are always proud to support Child Safety Week. We want all children to lead safe, healthy and independent lives, so raising awareness around child accident prevention is crucial to this. Most accidents can be prevented by just taking a few small steps.

“Our aim is to reduce the number of preventable child accidents in Warwickshire, particularly during lockdown. However, we understand that accidents can still happen, so we urge you to please still see a medical professional if your child does get hurt.

“We are aware that some people have avoided getting help due to concerns about COVID-19, but I would like reassure everyone that GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done.”

Child Safety Week is the flagship annual campaign from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), the UK’s leading charity committed to reducing the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in preventable accidents.

The charity strives to secure a safer environment for children of all ages, so they can live life to the full while protected from serious injury or death. Child Safety Week enables the council, alongside CAPT, to do this by promoting safety messages to families in an engaging way.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Prevention Team will be using the week to promote the fire safety learning hub an online platform delivering interactive safety lessons to children while they are off school, with a focus on fire safety.

Teaching children about staying safe from fire at an early stage in a fun and interactive way will help them to gain the skills needed to keep themselves fire safe.

With the roads starting to get much busier as lockdown eases, Child Safety Week is also a chance to remind people about road safety, its education programme and work with Warwickshire Police to keep road users as safe as possible. For more information go to warwickshire.gov.uk/roadsafetyeducation

The council urges that if you are out and about with your children, whether you are driving, cycling or walking, please take extra care and stay alert on every outing and be aware of the busier roads.

The council’s Family Information Service is a great source of information on all things family related including safety, for more information visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/childrenandfamilies

For more information about Child Safety Week go to www.capt.org.uk