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Children: Accidents

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what steps his Department is taking to ensure that children are taught about managing risk and staying safe to prevent accidents and accidental injury; (186336)

(2) what guidance has been given to local children’s services on measures to reduce incidence of accidental injury among young people;

(3) if he will take steps to (a) identify best practice in child accident prevention and (b) ensure that information on effective measures is shared between local safeguarding boards.

[holding answer 18 February 2008]: The Department has worked across Government to co-ordinate the cross-Government Staying Safe Action Plan which was published on 5 February 2008. The report can be downloaded from and a copy is available in the House Library. In the Staying Safe Action Plan, we set out new commitments to help children, young people and their parents understand better the risks to their safety, including from accidental injury. These include the establishment of a Child Safety Education Coalition to deliver and evaluate child safety education across the country and ensure that more children, including disabled children, are taught about how to manage risk. We also announced new guidance for professionals on common risks in the home as well as a Priority Review of local accidental prevention. These new measures will help to identify and share good practice in accident prevention work between local areas.

My Department issued guidance to schools, “Safety Education Guidance for Schools”, in December 2001 This guidance sets out responsibilities for safety education and National Curriculum requirements, recommends approaches to teaching and learning, and provides examples of good practice. It is for schools to determine exactly how they provide safety education.

The effectiveness of these measures will be assessed by the public service agreement to improve children and young people’s safety, which was announced in October 2007.