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News Release

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SIMPLE TIPS TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE

In the home and in the car are two of the most dangerous places for children but simple measures can help keep them safe.

That's the message of two campaigns launched together in Glasgow that has Scotland leading the way amongst other European countries tackling child safety issues.

The 'Scottish Good Egg Guides to In-Home and In-Car Safety' aim to raise awareness of the following startling facts and provide parents and carers with the necessary information to safeguard children.

Nearly one million children are taken to hospital following accidents in and around the home in the UK each year. Over half of these children are under five years old.
There were 688 child casualties in cars in Scotland in 2004 -about a third of all child casualties. 67 of these children were killed or seriously injured.
Falls are the main cause of accidental injury to children and in 2002, over 390,000 children under 15 in the UK, were taken to hospital - almost 60% of these were aged under five.
According to Scottish Executive research in 2003, 13% of 0-4 year olds and 18% of 5-13 year olds were not wearing a seat belt or other restrainer while in the car.
House fires present a grave risk to children. In 2004 in the UK, over 1200 children under sixteen were killed or injured. Almost 40% of these were under the age of four.
The campaign goals are to educate parents and carers about the levels of potential risk, empower them with the necessary information to make a difference and encourage them to be responsible for safeguarding their children in the home or car.

Measures that can be taken to prevent accidents in the home or car are simple and cost effective. These include:

Speaking at the launch of the campaign at Yorkhill Children's Hospital, in Glasgow Dr Linda De Caestecker, Acting Director of Public Health for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, said:

"Child safety in the home and the car is an extremely important issue. The effect of child injuries in terms of physical hurt and disfigurement, the hurt caused to other family members and the financial cost to the NHS and other emergency services means that these are issues we cannot ignore.

Having said that, it's important we do not frighten parents. We should not try and prevent children from finding out about the world and making mistakes that they learn from. But what this campaign does is educate, empower and encourage parents to find a healthy balance and make the right safety decisions.

The 'Good Egg Guides' are a useful way of communicating these very important messages in a relaxed and informative way. We sincerely hope these campaigns will go some way to preventing the number of needless and devastating accidents to children in the home and the car."

Scotland is leading the way amongst other countries in the European Child Safety Alliance. Elizabeth Lumsden of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is working with a multi agency group taking a Child Safety Action Plan forward in Scotland.

"This is a Europe wide initiative aimed at sharing best practice and tackling child safety issues.

What is clear from the meetings we have had over the past year and a half is that Scotland is more advanced in its preparations for producing a Child Safety Action Plan than other countries.

The Scottish Good Egg Guides are another way which shows how serious Scotland is about tackling child accident prevention issues."

Sir Arnold Clark, a major sponsor of the In-Car campaign added:

" We are delighted to support the Good Egg Guide campaign for the 5th year. It's an excellent resource packed full of important advice and facts to help parents keep their children safe. We are committed to this campaign and looking forward to seeing a continued improvement in child safety."

NOTES FOR EDITORS

- Sources for statistics included in this release are: Office of National Statistics, Fire Statistics and Research, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Trade and Industry, Scottish Executive.

- Partners in the 'Child In-Home Safety' campaign are: NHS Health Scotland, East Dunbartonshire Community Safety Partnership, East Lothian Community Safety Partnership, Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership, Fife Community Safety Partnership, Glasgow City Council, Inverclyde Community Safety Partnership, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), Scottish Accident Prevention Council, Scottish Borders Community Safety Forum, Shetland Community Safety Partnership, South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, South Lanarkshire Council, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, West Dunbartonshire Strategic Community Safety Partnership, West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership

- Partners in the 'Child In-Car Safety' campaign are: Road Safety Scotland, Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the Arnold Clark Group and Scottish Local Authorities and Police Forces.

- For more information on this release or a copy of the guides please contact Jan Deans on 07980 851360 or Martin Osler on 07739 185 522

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