Examples of events held during previous Child Safety Weeks to give you some more ideas for your own events and activities
Photos and props in Mid-Argyll
The Children and Families team at Mid-Argyll Community hospital ran several activities for Child Safety Week, including group sessions with young parents and a display in the main foyer of the community hospital which coincided with the well-baby clinic.
The team displayed photographs of dolls hanging out of windows to highlight some of the risks of falls in the home, as well as of pills and sweets to show the similarity between them, and the risk of accidental poisoning. Visual props were used alongside the pictures, and proved a great way of engaging people in conversations. There were boxes containing a range of everyday choking hazards, including marbles, peanuts and Lego pieces, and another containing poisoning hazards such as e-cigarettes and refills.
The team also used a doll and baby bath with a line drawn inside it to show how little water it takes for babies to drown. This was especially eye-catching, and also meant Healthcare support worker, Rebecca, could easily speak to parents while their children played with the doll. Rebecca told us: “When you walk into a room of parents it helps to have props. It gives you something to start talking about, and helps you have a bit of fun with it. The props have much more impact than just written information.”
Home visits from Home-Start in Edinburgh
Using flashcards from CAPT’s Preventing accidents session plans, Home-Start Edinburgh West and South West ran a number of outreach events for Child Safety Week. In addition to visiting families within their homes, the team also worked in partnership with other organisations to deliver sessions for various toddler and parent groups, as well as local faith and community groups.
Families were given the opportunity to book home visits and were offered free home safety equipment, including blind cleats. Many of the discussions centred around simple changes that could be made within the home to reduce the risk of accidents. For example, tying up blind cords, moving medicines and cleaning products and keeping hot drinks out of reach. Service Co-ordinator, Margot, commented: “It can be tricky bringing up the subject of accident prevention and highlighting changes that need to happen at home in order to make children safer. Having a national campaign really helped us to start up conversations with parents, and those conversations have proved really effective. Lots of the parents we worked with have told us how helpful they’ve found the information.”
The Child Safety Week activities have also sparked a lot of developments for the organisation: they’ve gone on to deliver first aid training with lottery funding, make links with the local fire service and have set up a calendar of events throughout the year to provide more opportunities to engage with parents.
Children become super Safety Heroes in Hampshire
‘Sue B’, Childminder from Hampshire, used the superhero theme to teach her children about safety:
“The children love superheroes and we already had some costumes. We dressed up and wore them around the village during Child Safety Week, talking about what superheroes do and how the children could be superheroes at home for their families.”
As well as learning about it themselves, the children went to pre-school to tell everyone why they were superheroes and why they were wearing their costumes; namely:
“…being mindful that superheroes look after themselves and other people by not putting themselves in danger when crossing the road, walking carefully and sensibly by me – and not flying or running at the speed of sound!”.
Sue gave the children special superhero power bracelets to wear all week and to take home. They also decorated her home with photos of the superheroes in action, to remind them that they could be superheroes every day!
Babies, burns and blackcurrant
Spurgeons Broadfield Children and Family Centre in Crawley ran several activities during Child Safety Week to highlight the dangers of burns and poisoning to young children and babies.
Parents were invited to take part in the Bitrex Taste Test and learn more about common household poisons, like cleaning products, while their children played in the toy kitchen. They also watched demonstrations from the fire brigade showing the terrible effects of a chip pan fire, and another which showed just how badly babies can be burned by hot drinks, by throwing blackcurrant juice over a doll in a car seat:
“This is a particularly important message for any of the parents using our cafe – or any other cafe – as they can be brought in and placed in car seats on the floor while sleeping, which leaves them at high risk of being scalded if a hot drink is spilt.”
– Fay Carling, Senior Early Years Worker at Spurgeons.
Parents were asked to guess how long it takes for hair straighteners to cool after they’ve been switched off. “We did this last year using real straighteners and parents were shocked at how long it took before the straighteners turned cold”, said Fay. “Many of them have hair straighteners, but don’t know the risks involved in leaving them out to cool”.
Safety heroes doing battle against accidental poisonings in Newcastle
Newcastle Hospitals Community Health used Child Safety Week to launch a campaign on accidental poisoning. Lindsay Ord, Accident Prevention Specialist Health Visitor, told us:
“I was alarmed at the number of children attending A&E with a range of accidental ingestions within Newcastle, so we decided to make it the theme of a year-long campaign, and launch it launched during Child Safety Week .”
Working with the local Child Accident Prevention Group, including representatives from Sure Start centres, baby and toddler groups and St. John Ambulance, the team ran a range of events across Newcastle, targeting local families, as well as hospital and community health staff. This ensured that messages were spread far and wide, and everyone has an understanding of the problem and how it could be prevented.
The team have created their very own superhero and used this on a new flyer highlighting the causes of accidental ingestions. It has since been handed out at events and visits throughout the year, for instance routine 9-12 month checks.