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12 to 16 Home Safe and Sorted

What is 'Home Safety'?

Children and teenagers are vulnerable to a wide range of potential dangers within the home. These include trips, slips and falls; fire and heat; sharp objects; poisoning; electrical shock; drowning and suffocation.

The curricula for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland emphasise keeping safe as a core aspect of students' learning. 'Stay Safe' is one of the five core elements of Every Child Matters and 'Chapter 2: Safe and Sound' of The Children's Plan (Department for Education) also emphasises schools' role in making sure young people know how to stay safe.

Nationwide Education's Home Safety programmes for ages 12 – 16 build on the knowledge and skills developed by the resources for younger age groups.

These resources aim to help both teachers and parents deliver important messages about staying safe, and help young people learn how to identify and minimise risks.

Nationwide Education's Home Safety programmes include:

  • Safety First at Home (aimed at ages 2 – 4)
  • Being Safe at Home (aimed at ages 4 – 7)
  • Staying Safe at Home (aimed at ages 7 – 11)
  • Home Safe and Sorted 1 (aimed at ages 12 – 14)
  • Home Safe and Sorted 2 (aimed at ages 14 – 16).

Each of these programmes links directly to guidance on the teaching of safety in the UK curricula. The programmes for ages 12-16 focus on seven key areas of home safety:

  • Trips and Slips
  • Falls
  • Fire
  • Heat
  • Electrical Dangers
  • Sharp Objects
  • Poisons

The resources also help schools meet the requirements of Every Child Matters and The Children's Plan (Department for Education). Please see the Curriculum Links for information about how these resources link to the UK curriculum objectives.

Why is Home Safety important?

Accidents are the second biggest killer of children and young people in the UK with six dying and 2,000 admitted to hospital with injuries every week (Child Accident Prevention Trust, 2009).

As young people grow and become more independent they open themselves up to a whole new set of risks and dangers around the home. They may be using electrical equipment such as hair dryers/straighteners, televisions, DVD players, microwaves or sound systems. They may be cooking for the family and using sharp kitchen utensils, flames and heat. They may also be responsible for looking after younger brothers or sisters, elderly or disabled relatives, or pets. Three-quarters of children aged 15 and under are allowed to sleep over at a friend's house, so they need to be able to transfer home safety skills to other environments.

The majority of children and young people's accidents happen in and around the home. Some of these involve minor bumps and scrapes but many involve more serious injuries resulting in scarring, disfigurement, permanent disability or even death. In most of these cases, the injury or fatality was easily preventable, if only safety precautions had been taken and the young person had a greater ability to assess potential risk.

According to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, treating unintentional injuries among children and young people costs UK Accident and Emergency departments approximately £146 million a year. For example, treatment for a single severe bath water scald can cost £250,000. The ongoing pain, suffering and emotional costs for the victim and his or her family are, of course, immeasurable, and can also affect friends, teachers, neighbours, doctors, emergency services – everyone associated with the victim and the incident – directly and indirectly.