Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police are encouraging parents and carers to talk about safety with children and young people during the half-term break.
During the week-long school holiday, both are sharing safety messages and advice on social media, encouraging families to talk about topics including road, fire, online, water and railway safety.
Messages will also remind drivers to be aware of children out playing or cycling, and to set good examples when travelling with children, including always using seatbelts and not using hand-held mobile phones while driving.
Sara Postlethwaite, of the joint prevention and community protection department, said: “We hope our messages act as conversation starters so families can discuss safety together.
“Thinking children or teenagers know how to keep themselves safe isn’t the same as knowing they do. A simple conversation could save a life, so please take the time to talk about safety this half-term.”
Safety conversation starters:
- Have a home fire escape plan that the whole family understands, and practise it so everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds. Test alarms at least once a month.
- Talk to children and young people about the dangers of playing with fire, matches and lighters and make sure they don’t have access to flammable materials.
- Remind children of how they can stay safer on and around the roads – how to cross safely, how to ride their bike or scooter safely, and make sure they have, and wear, protective gear.
- Talk about the importance of always wearing seatbelts, especially if they are travelling in cars with their friends or friends’ parents.
- Follow the SAFE code around water: S = spot the dangers A= read safety advice signs F = always swim with family or friends E = know what to do in an emergency.
- In an emergency, call 999 – never enter the water. Talk to the casualty, throw what you can to help them, and see if there is anything you can use to reach out to them.
- Never walk, run or play on the railway track – you risk serious injury or death from trains and high voltage electricity.
- Never throw stones at a train or put anything onto the tracks. Even a small object can derail a train.
- Set up smart-phone free zones and times, for example no phones at the dinner table or in children’s bedrooms.
- Only allow online games to be played in communal areas of the home, no game consoles in children’s bedrooms.