Hundreds of children get lesson in staying safe while at play in South Tyneside

More than 1,200 children have been getting lessons in safety and how to help avoid accidents while playing.

The majority of accidents experienced by 10 and 11-years-olds happening at play or on the roads, according to South Tyneside Council, which launched the Reducing Accidents at Play (RAP) initiative aiming explore the major risks for children in age group and help them learn basic skills to stay safe.

The event, held at South Shields community Fire Station, featured interactive scenarios run by different organisations to help deliver safety messages to Year 6 pupils across the borough. These covered the dangers of fires, roads, water and electricity. It also included a chip pan fire demonstration.

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Itinvolved 1,201 children across 24 schools over a two-week period.

South Tyneside Council Cllr Jim Foreman and Cllr Ernest Gibson with TWFRS prevention education officer Colin Soulsby, pupils from St Oswald's CofE Primary School, Hebburn, and Bede Burn Primary School, Jarrow.

Councillor Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with partners to bring back the Reducing Accidents at Play event promoting safety awareness among this age group and helping them to understand that play doesn’t have to be risky to be fun.

“The event covers many of the dangers associated with different types of play whether at home or outside and engages them in a fun and interactive way. It teaches important life skills to help avoid accidents and learn what to do if anything was to happen.

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“It makes sense to try to educate our children at an early age so they are better prepared to spot the dangers and keep themselves and their friends safe.”

The annual event has been reintroduced following the covid pandemic and is organised by South Tyneside Council’s Road Safety Department with support from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

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Pupils from St Oswald's CofE Primary School, Hebburn, and Bede Burn Primary School, Jarrow, attending Reducing Accidents at Play event at South Shields Fire Station.

Steven Thomas, Group Manager for Prevention and Education at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are always pleased to be included in the Reducing Accidents at Play initiative.

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“Events like this allow us to continue to help keep the communities of South Tyneside safe, by delivering key road safety messages to a large number of young people over the two-week programme of events."

Other organisations involved include Nexus, Northern Powergrid and the RNLI.