home safety at christmas

Have a safe Christmas

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Children’s safety at Christmas is something that we’re thinking about at Conies.  Many of us will be travelling to relatives’ or friends’ homes over the festive break and here’s our top Christmas safety tips if you’re away from home for a few days.

1. Get there safely — As a road safety organisation this is bound to be top of our list. Make sure your car seat is correctly fitted for the journey – a worrying 70 percent of children travel in incorrectly fitted seats according to government figures. Once you’ve arrived, stay alert, if you get lifts with someone else, make sure that any journeys in different cars are safe. Always fit the seats properly, taking time to check them. Remember that not all seats fit in all cars, and if you need to put a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger side, you must turn off the front air bags. Consider activating the rear child locks, people who don’t travel regularly with children in their car aren’t likely to have them switched on.

2. Guard against burns and scalds — Visiting a different home over Christmas may mean you having to re-assess the risks. Scalds are the fourth highest cause of hospital admission for under-fives, with hot drinks causing most of the incidents and bath scalds being the most serious. Different kitchen layouts could mean higher risks of hot pans falling from cookers. Radiators, kettles and hair straighteners can also be dangerous for young children. Make sure the festive candles are all extinguished at night and keep lighters and matches out of harm’s way.

3. Suffocation and strangulation — Tragically, this is the leading cause of accidental death in children under five. A different home may present new dangers such as blind cords, and temporary sleeping arrangements need to be safe from risks of suffocation from pillows or sheets. Remember to keep nappy bags away from young children.

4. Poisoning — Four thousand young children under five are admitted to hospital each year following a poisoning incident. Visiting a different home may mean a quick check around to make sure things are safe. Move chemicals out of accessible cupboards, and make sure medicines are out of reach – this is the cause of seventy percent of poisoning accidents.. New toys mean new batteries, so watch out for button batteries which are dangerously tempting for babies and toddlers.

Your hosts may not be used to having children in the house, but a quick check around your temporary home will mean you can enjoy the festivities happily and safely – Merry Christmas!

snowman stay safe in the snow

Mr SnowCone’s Cold Weather Advice

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We’re always working hard to keep children safe and as the weather has been so chilly lately and is forecast to be again, Mr SnowCone has come up with his top ten tips to keep you safe in the cold weather.

  • Always wear suitable footwear, make sure you have good grips on boots or wellies for the snow!
  • Wear warm clothing, including lots of layers. The more comfortable you are, the less likely you are to be distracted and can concentrate on your surroundings. We love woolly hats!
  • Make sure your scarf is kept short so you can’t trip over it.
  • Wear something Hi-vis and your Conies snap band so you can be seen in bad weather or on dark evenings.
  • Cross at traffic lights and zebra crossings especially in bad weather where drivers may have limited visibility. At least if they can’t see you clearly then they can see the lights
  • Walk towards the traffic and away from the kerb
  • Stay close to your trusted adult and hold hands
  • Never use your bike, skateboard or scooter in the snow or on icy pavements
  • Never slide on the pavement as it makes it more slippy and dangerous for other children and adults.
  • Never, ever walk on frozen lakes or ponds, you don’t know how thick the ice is.

Snow can be really good fun, if you make sure you stay warm and safe.

High note for Child Road Safety

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We’ve struck a chord with one of the UK’s leading  recruitment groups as the nation celebrates Road Safety Week (November 20-26).

Midlands-based Pertemps Network Group has matched the money raised by the charity from busking and other musical fundraising events across Europe to the tune of £10,000.

The brainchild of Fay Goodman, Director of Birmingham road safety organisation DriveSafe & StaySafe, our Conies are an animated family of traffic cones that take part in amusing and instructive adventures to help children improve their road safety.

Fay, who launched The Conies in a new Walking to School Journal trialled successfully across a number of Birmingham primary schools this year, aims to make the characters as much of a role model in safety education as the Green Cross Code man and Tufty the Squirrel were in their day.

Tim Watts, Lifetime President of Pertemps, presented a giant cheque for £10,000 to Fay to support her efforts in promoting an initiative that matches his company’s health and safety ethos.   

Fay joined special guest artist Mohinder Singh, a tabla player who performed recently with Take That, violinist Pete Harley and The Celturian on The Conies fundraising tour.

Fay, who is also a world-leading martial artist, said: “We used a mystical fusion of 4,000-year-old tabla rhythms by Mohinder and 400-year-old Japanese sword kata, as well as a Tessan dance (a war dance using fans), to provide a dramatic and rewarding show that thrilled our audiences.”

Tim Watts, also a Conies Ambassador, said: “Pertemps are proud supporters of The Conies. This fantastic charity works to raise road safety awareness and helps to save the lives of children. Fay works extremely hard to organise fun and different events to raise funds for the charity and I am pleased to be able to help out such a brilliant cause.”

Fay Goodman said: “I am delighted by this generous donation which will help turn our ambitious plans to reality, and I hope that other high profile companies will follow this wonderful lead.  It is devastating to hear of a child being seriously injured or, worse, killed – and essential that we do all we can to help children and guide their parents and other adults in all dangerous environments. This is particularly pertinent as we acknowledge Road Safety Week 2017.”

Fay added: “A second pilot of our highly successful Walking to School Safety Journal will be distributed to schools in Aston, Nechells and Newtown during January 2018.   I am thrilled that The Conies are taking off so successfully and engaging with children from the age of 4 upwards.  We may have only just started but we are ready to take on the world!”

 

Supporting Speed Down Save Lives

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This year’s Road Safety Week campaign is Speed Down, Save Lives, and the Conies is giving it our full support.

When you read the stats, you’ll understand why.

  • Road crashes are the second biggest killer of young people aged five to 19
  • More than five children are seriously hurt or killed every single day on British roads. 
  • Most incidents involving children occur when they are walking home from school. 
  • Children under 15 cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles when they are travelling at speeds greater than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it isn’t. 

Speed is a crucial factor in the safety of pedestrians. Speed and stopping distances don’t increase at the same rate. Small increases in speed result in bigger increases in stopping distances. That’s why it’s so important for drivers to drive within speed limits and to keep to 20mph in residential areas. Even a 1mph cut in speed can reduce the chance of a fatal injury by 5 per cent.

As well as improving road safety, cutting speed also benefits the health and wellbeing of our children. Slower traffic makes people feel safer, which encourages more young people to walk and cycle. More children walking and cycling means fewer cars on the roads and lower pollution from vehicle emissions. More walking and cycling also means better health and helps prevent childhood obesity as well as diabetes.

To find out more about Road Safety Week visit http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk

Safety tips for Halloween and Bonfire Night

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Halloween Safety Tips

    • When carving your pumpkin, let your parents handle the sharp knife.
    • When trick or treating make sure you are wearing something bright and visible, maybe a glow in the dark skeleton costume!
    • Don’t go trick or treating without adult supervision,
    • Don’t talk to strangers and if someone approaches you, let a trusted adult know.
    • Stay on the pavement and when crossing the road be careful and look both ways.
    • Don’t eat any chocolate or sweets before being checked by an adult.
    • Be careful around lit Pumpkins.
    • Beware the ghosts and ghouls!

Bonfire Night Safety Tips

  • Always stand well back from the Bonfire
  • Never touch fireworks – let the adults handle them!
  • Stay well away from a firework after it has been lit.
  • Make sure you wear gloves when holding a sparkler and only use one at a time.
  • Keep your sparklers pointed away from you and anyone else.
  • Keep pets indoors, their safety matters too!

Five reasons we all need to do more to keep our children safe

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Our mission is to help keep children safe, particularly on their way to and from school. It’s news stories like these that make our work so important and why we all need to do more to keep our children safe.

Boy knocked over on the first day of school

Teenage cyclist killed in a bus crash

Boy, 6, and girl, 10, badly injured in road accidents

West Midlands Air Ambulance – Photo from Birmingham Mail

Toddler hit by car outside a Walsall Primary School

Schoolgirl injured after being hit by a car

These are all recent accidents and just a sample of the many that happen each year.  The most recent Government figures show that fatal accidents involving children are not reducing.

Please help us in our work to keep children safe.

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The Conies Top Five Tips for Getting to School Safely

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The Conies want all children to be safe on their journey to and from school, here’s our top five tips to help.

1. Be seen

School uniforms and winter coats are often dark coloured, making children difficult to see in the lower light conditions in early morning or in the late afternoon. Fluorescent arm bands or jackets help drivers spot youngsters. Reflective bands or stickers on bags help reflect car headlights when its dark.

2. Stop look listen

The oldest advice is the best. Look right, look left and then right again. Keep looking and listening as you cross the road. Use your eyes and ears and never hurry into a road

3. Find a safe place to cross

Avoid crossing near parked cars if possible. Never cross the road from behind a bus. Know the difference between zebra and pelican crossings and how to cross at each type.

4. Be aware of stranger danger

Police recorded 569 offences of child abduction in 2014. Make sure your child knows never to talk to or take presents from strangers or go with anyone they don’t know or trust.

5. Be safe in the car

Don’t distract the driver and always wear a seatbelt. The Dept of Transport recommends children over 12 years or 135cm in height may use an adult seat belt, but also continue using booster seats until they are 150cm tall. Make sure you know which side to get out of and avoid oncoming traffic.

The Conies reaction to the latest road accident figures

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Today the Department of Transport have published road accident figures which reveal a disturbing upward trend. They show that 69 children, an increase of 15 from the previous year, were killed on our roads in 2016.  This is the highest figure since 2009. The Government’s reaction states there is no clear trend. Nevertheless this contradicts clear evidence showing annual figure for child deaths and serious injuries on the roads has been rising in recent years following a 20 year on year decline since 1995. Any child fatality is one too many, particularly for the family and friends they leave behind.

Fay Goodman, creator of the Conies and director of DriveSafe & StaySafe said:

“We urgently need to do more to keep our children safe, particularly on their journeys to and from school. We know it’s an especially dangerous time of day.  We regularly see and hear horror stories about the behaviour of drivers and dangerous parking around school gates.

The Conies was born out of a desire to help keep children safe. We want to educate them, in a fun way, with characters they can identify with, to improve road safety.  Following on from our successful pilot to 3,400 primary school children in high risk areas of Birmingham, we are rolling out our road safety training to a further three areas of the city during January 2018. As well as a variety of resources, this consists of workbooks embracing how to get to school safely on foot or by bus, car and bike – as well as managing distractions and stranger danger. Supported by the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership we aim to bring our ‘Walking to School Safely’ Journal to more areas of the Midlands.”

Source of figures: Department for Transport

Just one example of dangerous driving around schools

You can help us to keep children safe by supporting the Conies.

For more information or to talk to Fay Goodman call 07976 426463 email fay@goodmedia.co.uk