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Preventing Home Accidents

A project aimed at preventing children from taking a second trip to A&E has been launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

The hospital has taken delivery of 2,400 copies of The Birthday Party – a book produced by to help young children in Scotland learn about how to stay safe at home.

The hospital will now be handing them out to children who are admitted to A&E in the hope the book can help to educate them on home accidents, and 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. 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 project 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 a 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.”

The book is available for free to any professional that works with children who are in primary 3 or younger.

Anyone wishing to get copies of the book should contact Christie Burnett on, or call 0131 449 9379, to arrange collection from the RoSPA Scotland office in Edinburgh.

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