Safety charity urges councils to keep protecting children

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is calling on every local authority in Scotland to help it continue to protect children from unintentional home accidents.

The family safety charity has written to all 32 councils to ask them to include £1,000 in their budgets for the next financial year, to help it to continue its highly successful Scotland Home Safety Equipment Scheme (SHSES).

The pilot of the scheme, which launched in 2013, administered by RoSPA and supported by different organisations from across the country, reached 900 vulnerable families and 1,752 vulnerable children.

Home visitors offered practical safety advice, and issued equipment such as cupboard catches, blind cord cleats and safety gates, to protect young children. A total of 165 practitioners were also trained in child safety.

RoSPA now wants to build on this good work by offering a telephone and website service for enquiries, continuing to train practitioners, deliver presentations to key government and practitioners with a remit for child safety, and hold an annual event to share best practice.

Christie Burnett, SHSES project officer, said: ““We want to continue the momentum we have, but to do this we need help from local authorities so we have written to every chief executive and community planning officer across Scotland.

“”Current funding runs out on March 31, so we would like a pledge of £1,000 in each budget.

““As well as helping to keep children safe in their own homes this represents excellent value for money, as the cost of a non-fatal, hospital-treated home accident for children up to the age of four is £10,600. The more children we help to protect from preventable accidents, the more we save the NHS.””