RoSPA February 9, 2009
NATIONAL CHILD SAFETY EDUCATION COALITION ESTABLISHED – CSEC – LASER (Learning About Safety by Experiencing Risk)Equipping children and young people with the skills to manage their exposure to danger is the aim of a new national coalition. The coalition will also recognise that bumps, scrapes and disappointments are part of growing up
The Child Safety Education Coalition (CSEC) is being established by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) to promote the provision of high-quality practical safety education in England.
Organisations that seek to reduce the number and severity of unintended injuries among children and young people are being invited to join CSEC, which is being funded through a £1.6million grant from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).
The coalition will aim to increase opportunities for children and young people to learn and practise skills that enable them to recognise, remove, reduce and recover from everyday hazards and dangers and remember and build on what they have learned throughout their lives.
John Vallender, CSEC manager at RoSPA, said: “According to the World Health Organisation’s European Region, injuries are the leading cause of death in children aged from five to 19-years-old, and send many millions of children and young people to hospital each year.
“The establishment of CSEC provides an opportunity for organisations with a mission to reduce injuries to join together to make a difference.
“CSEC will promote practical safety education which will equip children and young people with the ability to reduce the severity of unintended injuries. But the coalition will also recognise that bumps, scrapes and disappointments are an important part of growing up.”
Sophie Wood, principal officer at NCB, said: “NCB welcomes the opportunity to be working in partnership with RoSPA to develop a coalition that encourages and supports high quality activities which contribute to a reduction in unintended injuries to children and young people.”
Permanent practical safety education centres, plus a range of annual safety events, run across the country under the general banner of LASER (Learning About Safety by Experiencing Risk). They provide a powerful interactive approach to safety education and use realistic scenarios, such as road environments, water sites, smoke-filled rooms and unsafe kitchens, to help children and young people develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to keep themselves safe in a range of situations.
CSEC’s role will be to raise the profile and promote the expansion of practical safety education partnerships and other innovative ways to encourage sustainable community safety activities.
Peter Cornall, RoSPA head of leisure safety, said: “For the first time, we have the opportunity to bring together partners from across the country to address the need for children and young people to have a role in taking independent action to protect themselves and lead active lifestyles.”
The DCSF grant, payable over three years until 2011, has been awarded to RoSPA and NCB to set up and run the coalition.