Children given accident prevention book at A&E

More than 2,000 were admitted to hospital last year following accidents in the home.
More than 2,000 were admitted to hospital last year following accidents in the home.
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CHILDREN turning up to A&E at a busy Scottish hospital have been given an illustrated book on accident prevention - in a bid to cut down on unnecessary hospital admissions.

Hospital bosses at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh hope the books will help children learn how to stay safe at home.

More than 2,000 copies of the book, called The Birthday Party, have been produced for the hospital by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The book will be handed out to children under nine who are admitted to A&E to try to prevent them returning to hospital in the future with a home-related injury.

Between 2013-14 there were 2,128 children admitted to hospital for injuries in the home in the UK.

The biggest cause were falls (891) and poisoning (514), which are both issues covered in the book, along with the potential dangers of looped blind cords.

Christie Burnett, community safety development officer for RoSPA Scotland, said: “The majority of accidents happen in the home, and while some will be minor many can be life-changing, such as burns and poisoning – and some can even lead to death.

“In the vast majority of cases the accident will be completely avoidable. We hope that by introducing The Birthday Party we can target this high-risk age group and prevent them heading back to hospital due to a home-related accident.”

The Birthday Party, written by award-winning children’s author Linda Strachan, follows Jamie and his friends as they prepare safely for a birthday party, including making and decorating cakes, putting on costumes and tidying up after themselves.

Amanda Balloch, play assistant at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, said: “They are great little books - I loved the illustrations. It will be nice to hand them out to help keep children safe at home this winter.”

“At this time of year, we can see lots of children passing through the department each day and hopefully, The Birthday Party will help in ensuring children aren’t returning to hospital with an injury that could have been prevented at home.”