Activities and events are the cornerstone of Child Safety Week.

We’ve had some great feedback from previous Scottish event holders about the impact it has had on parents and on partnership working:

“The best thing about Child Safety Week is how different organisations come together to deliver a valuable service to families”

– Families First Project, Glasgow

“Parents said they were more aware of risks to young children, e.g. the length of time hot drinks and hair straighteners remained hot. They said they changed things at home to prevent accidents.”

– Ardgour Nursery, Fort William

Here are examples of events held during previous Child Safety Weeks to give you some more ideas for your own events and activities:

Circle Haven Project, Edinburgh

The Circle Haven Project ran a session for parents focusing on different ages and stages of children. There were tables set up covering baby, toddler and young child issues included props, CAPT resources and the CAPT session plan cards.

The session plan cards were used to help stimulate discussion amongst the parents and the props helped to serve as a conversation starter, all drawing on the wider theme of Sharing is Caring. The hair straightener pouches were particularly popular and led to discussion around the dangers of hair straighteners.

There were two sessions for each age and stage group so parents were able to rotate and had an opportunity to look at relevant age issues.

Project Manager, Alex Collop said about the resources:

“The session plan packs are great. They just fit into what we are doing so well. It’s not too prescribed so gives support but allows freedom in how you deliver the session.”

Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, joined the discussion with families during Child Safety Week and heard about the work of the Circle Haven Project and partner organisation Stepping Stones Nursery.

Circle Haven Project

The Project has the contract with the North Edinburgh Council to cover the Forth neighbourhood including areas of multiple deprivation including Muirhouse and Pilton which are both in the top 5-10% of deprivation in the country. Their work focuses on early years and they offer specific support for fathers who may be directly involved with parenting or on the periphery of the family.

“We are a relatively small charity and there are always lots of competing pressures, but Child Safety Week fits into our approach and what parents are requesting from us.”

“Child Safety Week gave us a process to follow and activities to get behind. It was a good means to raise awareness amongst parents. One of the fundamental issues we try to address is confidence in parenting and one of the key building blocks of this is feeling safe and having the information to ensure your child is safe.”

They also run an outreach programme for families with complex needs. Child safety forms a central element of this with safety equipment being put into into homes of families in particular need as well as replacing faulty or dangerous white goods etc.

Partnership working

Stepping Stones Nursery also partnered the Circle Haven Project for Child Safety Week. Stepping Stones focus on younger parents and offer a different model of support, but there is overlap between the families Haven and Stepping Stones reach, which has led to stronger partnership working.

On-going child safety work

Alex’s colleague Julie has introduced child safety into the topic of weaning after finding parents were so concerned about choking there were some 14 month olds still only on purees and no solid food. The project fundraised to be able to deliver baby first aid sessions. These had a big impact on parents who then felt much more confident to safely move to solids. The intention is for these sessions to continue.

Alex is intending on being involved with Child Safety Week again next year as it fits so well with their programme and given the high levels of inequalities and accident rates within households in their area. They have other partner organisations they will disseminate information to for next year and hope to develop the work.

Home-start Edinburgh West and South West

This year Home-Start Edinburgh brought Child Safety Week to the local gala in Gorgie on Saturday, 11 June, in Murieston Park.

“Once again it was great to have access to the resources prepared by CAPT and mums and dads were delighted to see how they could download a parent’s pack from the website with activities that they could do as a family – things that they could enjoy together while highlighting simple safety messages.”

Big thanks to Bitrex who not only provided us with taste testing kits but also provided sweeties to take away the aftermath of the taste. They provided us with some quirky fact sheets of interesting information about Bitrex and points like ‘Features in The Guinness Book of Records as the most bitter substance in the world’ were certainly not disputed!

Bitrex also gave us some handy bags that we filled with leaflets and quizzes and these handouts were well received by families.

We got a couple of top tips recorded:

  • “Tie back strings from blinds”
  • “Kneel down to floor level for any dangers also take care with hot liquids”
  • “Keep chemicals out of reach of kiddies”
  • “Hair bobbles make great cupboard ties”

It was also great to meet Brian McNally who has recently joined the Red Cross and when he heard about G in the Park he said he’d love to join in. Brian is also going to visit some of our groups in the autumn to give some top baby first aid tips.

Other activities during the week included focused discussions at our 5 peep groups, a Baby Massage group and we held one to one discussions with some home visited families.

Scottish Borders Council

This was Dougie’s first Child Safety Week – being new in post in April this year. He has been developing a presentation for families of under-fives and delivered the first one of these at the Eyemouth Early Years Centre during Child Safety Week.

He used the Child Safety Week Action pack and gave out leaflets including information on hair straighteners, nappy sacks, falls etc. The presentation and a drop in session were delivered to a cross section of families. Dougie said:

“The leaflets were very well received and families found these really useful.”

Dougie plans to roll this out to other baby and toddler groups in the area as part of his on-going work. Besides this work targeting the under-fives, Dougie has recently delivered a campaign working with schools looking at drowning and water safety in time for the school holidays.

Scottish Prison Service

This was Polmont’s first year of Child Safety Week. Joni received an email with information about the week and saw a good fit with the teams overall objectives. Joni recognised the strong link between Child Safety Week messaging and the needs of the parents she works with.

They work with prisoners on a number of issues but making the home safe for their children on release is a key area. The Child Safety Week work was run with mothers and fathers who are on shorter sentences of less than four years in the hope that the information can be retained upon liberation and return to their homes and families. Some of the parents have babies or small children, others may be regaining custody of children so the need for help and advice about making their homes safe for their children is really important.

The sessions were run in collaboration with the fire service and St Johns Ambulance. The fire officer came in and gave a talk to the parents about how to may their homes safer from fire. The St Andrews Ambulance worker brought in a baby, child and adult doll and taught the parents resuscitation and key first aid lessons. The relationship with the fire service is an on-going partnership. The St Andrews Ambulance partnership was a new one resulting from Child Safety Week. Joni says the partnership working will definitely continue as was particularly pleased to have made the new connection with St Andrews Ambulance.

The sessions were very well received by the parents. They were run over the course of two days, but the attendees were keen for more. Joni said:

“Everyone learnt something. The sessions were interactive which went down really well. We focused on fire safety and first aid, but the parents say they would like to learn a lot more and would like some longer sessions next time.”

Comments from the parents included:

“I came up today to Life Skills it was great, everyone participated well and had fun learning something new. I definitely recommend to take this further and learn more.”

“I thought the session was really interesting and feel that I learnt quite a lot on how to keep children safe around the home.”

Joni and the team made up packs for the parents to take away with them including leaflets from CAPT. They were well received as easy to read and understand.

Joni is keen to continue this work and plans to run events during Child Safety Week in 2018 with the possibility of a week long series of sessions.

Partnership working

Child Safety Week supports partnership working, so that everyone with an interest in children’s health, well-being and personal safety can help prevent serious accidents.

There are many different ways that these individuals and organisations can take part in Child Safety Week. You’ll find more information about this, as well as a list of potential local partners in the action pack.

In addition, you may find information and resources from these key national contacts in Scotland useful when planning your Child Safety Week events and activities:

Key contacts