Over 670 local children aged 10 and 11 have been learning about safety through taking part in activities organised by the Guernsey Child Accident Prevention Group.
The Safety Calling Challengeis held over 8 days in June.All the island's Year 6 children have had the opportunity to participate for half a day each. Working in small groups, the children get involved in seven different accident prevention scenarios with the aim of learning about safety by participating in practical and realistic activities.
Event leader and Children and Young Peoples Healthy Lifestyle Worker Tom Cheshire said:
"Approximately 2,000 children have to visit the Emergency department at the PEH each year as the result of an accident and many of these are preventable. The Safety Calling Challenge enables children to learn about keeping safe and how to put their knowledge into practice. It will also help children to act in helpful and responsible ways if they see someone else in difficulty. The activities are fun as well as being an opportunity for children to learn vital messages about accident prevention. Safety Calling ensures the Year 6 children are taught vital safety skills with the help of all our experienced leaders and experts. The activities are not normally taught in schools and the knowledge they gain can last a lifetime.
We are so grateful to all the agencies who give their time every year to ensure that the workshops are professionally presented in a way that is appropriate and realistic. When we test the children before and after they have been to Safety Calling both their levels of knowledge and ability to identify risks increase substantially so we know we are making a difference."
Members of the Child Accident Prevention Group plan and deliver the scenarios and the children have 12 minutes at each scene. These include:
- Cycle safety with Guernsey Police
- Road safety with Guernsey Police
- Fire safety with Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service
- Kitchen safety with the HPU Health Trainers and Frossard Ward staff
- Dealing with choking with St John Training Services,
- Internet safety with Education Services, Safe and Secure online and the Children's library
- Water safety with Youth Workers
During four of the scenarios, children are also given the opportunity to make real 999 calls to the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre.
Yvonne Le Page, Chair of the Guernsey Child Accident Prevention Group, added:
"The Guernsey Child Accident Prevention Group is delighted to be able to use St Saviour's Community Centre again for Safety Calling. The Centre is an ideal location as the rooms meet all our needs and we always get such positive support from the Centre management team.
On behalf of the Group I would also like to thank our sponsors Rotary Guernesiais, and Traffic and Highway Services whose continued support funds the centre hire and running costs. We are also very grateful to Airtel-Vodafone who provided all the mobiles phones and sponsor the text messaging service and also to the many companies including Guernsey Electricity who have sponsored the activity book the children take home with them afterwards."
Jo Reynolds from Rotary Guernesiais commented:
"Rotary Guernesiais, as an organisation that promotes good citizenship, are proud to sponsor and support the Safety Calling Challenge once again. The safety messages and scenarios experienced give every Bailiwick child important life skills that are remembered throughout their lives."
States Traffic and Highways Services said:
"We are pleased to support this event as we consider it very important for school children to learn about safety. Obviously, because of our mandate, we are particularly interested in two of the accident prevention scenarios which teach about safety on the roads. Children are much more at risk because they do not necessarily have the skills and judgement that normally comes with age and experience. It is essential to teach how to avoid dangerous situations from an early age; we note that this is being done in an interactive and fun way and hope the children will remember what they have been taught."
Peter Zunino, head of sales and marketing at Airtel-Vodafone said:
"Many children perhaps are more used to messaging apps rather than actually talking on their mobile phone, so this event encourages the development of communication life skills that can actually help saving lives in Guernsey in emergency situations. We're delighted to continue our support."