Child Safety Week

Staysafe team continue to reduce accidents in West Lothian

Accidents - most of them preventable - remain one of the biggest killers of children in the UK. That’s why the Staysafe project is urging people to ‘take a second look’ this Child Safety Week (20 – 26 June).

The project, run by West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP), has been helping to reduce the number of home accidents in the preschool age range since 2000.

Diane Lumley, Staysafe/Preschool home safety Co-ordinator, West Lothian CHCP, explains:

“We offer a point of contact for professional and voluntary agencies working with young families looking for advice on home safety and the products available to them.
“We provide low cost safety equipment like safety gates and fireguards at a third of the catalogue price and free safety packs and child resistant medicine boxes and distribute leaflets and booklets on home safety information. This is offered to families who are out of work or on low income.”

Serious accidents not only cause physical injury that can take months or even years to heal but the psychological impact on the child, their family and friends can last a lifetime.

“Many accidents can be prevented simply by taking a second look,” said Diane Lumley.

“Hair straightener burns to children are increasing and parents are encouraged to use a heat resistant bag to put them in as soon as they’ve been used. Making sure that little things like this are done can make a big difference.
“Getting into the habit of taking a second look will become automatic and that’s what we hope to achieve with all parents.”

Regular Staysafe training sessions are now well established and are open to all staff working with families and young children. The training sessions include input from both Road and Fire safety teams.

Jim Forrest, Director of West Lothian CHCP, said:

“The Stay Safe Project does excellent work in raising awareness and getting out extremely important messages to help keep children safe. The earlier children and their parents are aware of these issues the more likely accidents can be prevented.”

Executive councillor for health and care, Ellen Glass, said:

“Accident prevention is not about restricting children or wrapping them up in cotton wool; instead it is about creating safer environments, both in the home and elsewhere, to enable children to thrive and lead a healthy active life.
“Child Safety Week provides the opportunity to get this message across to parents and children, and helps parents learn how to fit safety into their busy lives.”

For further information on health and social care services delivered by the CHCP, please visit www.westlothianchcp.org.uk

14/06/2011