Health professionals in East Lancashire are raising awareness of the importance of creating a safe environment for children as part of Child Safety Awareness Week taking place 1-7 June.
Child Safety Awareness Week is led by the national charity Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT). This year, the campaign focuses on maintaining a safe environment for children, particularly during busy times of the day. Research revealed by CAPT shows that nearly half of road accidents to children in the region occur between 3pm and 7pm and from 2008-2012, there were 3,500 children killed or seriously injured on the roads between 3pm and 7pm, equating to 13 children every week. Children are also more likely to suffer a serious burn between 3pm and 6pm. Members of the Child Safety Team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust will be out providing advice to parents in East Lancashire on ways to ensure children are kept safe during these peak times.
Rosemary Acton, Child Safety Lead Practitioner at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“This week provides a great opportunity to get people talking about child safety. Most parents are extremely conscious of safety both outside and inside their homes, for example fitting safety gates and fire guards. However, this research shows that during peak times, around school pick-ups and dinner times, their attention can be turned to other tasks, and this is when accidents can happen.
“We are out providing information on how to ensure a safer home environment for all, so for instance ensuring that items such as hot drinks, which can cause severe burns for young children, are kept away from reach. Small children can reach further than we may think, and if the cup is on a table cloth this can be pulled and this is how accidents can happen. This week is a good way to start conversations and encourage everyone to take simple steps to make sure children are kept safe.”
Commenting on the findings, Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust said:
“Children in the North West suffer more serious burns and road accidents during the after-school rush than at any other time of day. Parents are up against it to get everyone home, tea on the table, clothes ironed and tired children into the bath. It’s hardly surprising safety precautions get missed.
“But these can be devastating injuries. A hot drink can scar a baby for life. A child can suffer brain damage if hit by a car. Simple changes to teatime routines can protect children from serious harm – whether that’s putting your mug of tea out of reach or practising road safety on the walk home from school. Visit our website capt.org.uk for practical advice on making teatime safer for children.”
The Child Safety Team holds a variety of events throughout the year to provide information and support for parents in East Lancashire. They carry out home visits to discuss how making small, simple changes can help create a safer environment for children, as well as visiting schools and children’s centres to provide talks and fun, interactive events in partnership with local organisations.
To find out more information about the Child Safety Team please visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Accident-Prevention. For more information about Child Safety Week, please visit www.childsafetyweek.org.uk