Let's work together to keep children safe

This story was published 26 May 2017

The County Council is supporting Child Safety Week, the national campaign from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT).

Two girls in North Yorkshire.

This year, Child Safety Week runs from Monday 5 June to Sunday 11 June and its theme is 'Safe children: sharing is caring'. The County Council is asking friends, families, communities and professionals to show they care by playing their part in keeping children safe and sharing their experience and knowledge - not just about the horrors of accidents, but also the really practical, simple things they do to prevent them.

Child Safety Week is run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust to raise awareness of the risks of childhood accidents and how they can be prevented. It provides a range of resources to help people run local activities and events and promote safety messages in a fun and engaging way.

Supporting the campaign is part of the work the County Council is doing to help North Yorkshire's children avoid injuries at home and when out and about. North Yorkshire County Council, and its partner Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, have recently developed a booklet designed to help parents and carers identify and manage potential dangers in the home.

The booklet is called 'Confident Parents, Safer Children' and empowers parents and carers of children under five by giving them the opportunity to understand, identify and minimise the risk of unintentional injuries at the key stages of development, for example when a child begins to crawl and walk.

The booklet provides information for parents and carers about the most common types of unintentional injuries and what can cause them. It also gives parents and carers the chance to think about risks in their own home through a self-assessment and draw up an action plan to avoid them.

There are many risks inside the home and it can be difficult for parents and carers to keep track of them all. Fractures are the most common type of injury, accounting for over a quarter of hospital admissions for children under five in North Yorkshire.

"The number of hospital admissions caused by injuries in children in the county is a serious issue. Injuries are preventable and we can take action to reduce their occurrence," said Katie Needham, consultant in public health for North Yorkshire.

"We know that the majority of injuries in children under five occur in the home, so the booklet shows parents and carers how to minimise risks through a self-assessment of their home environment and the opportunity to think about an action plan to improve safety for their child, in partnership with their health visitor or family support worker.

"Taking time to think about your own home and make appropriate adaptions, such as fireguards and safety gates, can help to make the home environment safer for your children. Parents and carers can take simple steps to prevent fractures, such as securing furniture and tall kitchen appliances to the wall, never leaving trip hazards on the stairs and not putting things that can be climbed on underneath windows.

"Children need opportunities to learn about their environment and take measured risks, but it is important for parents and carers to consider the dangers and take action to avoid injury".

The 'Confident Parents, Safer Children' booklets are available from HDFT Health Visiting and NYCC Prevention Service teams and can also be accessed at the NYCC Children's Centre webpage.

Health Visitors and Prevention Service Staff will mark Child Safety Week with events and displays so parents and carers can look out for these in their local Children's Centres.

Advice and tips from the Child Safety Week Campaign can also be found by following the Child Accident Prevention Trust on Facebook and Twitter and looking out for posts and tweets. Sharing Child Safety Week posts on your own social media account is also a great way to get involved and help us to get the messages out to more people. Information and ideas about accident prevention can be found on the Child Accident Prevention Trust website.