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04th June 2016

Safeguarding – Children at Play

What is safeguarding?

According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), “Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm”.

Safeguarding means:

  • Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • Preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18. The NSPCC has ‘Current Awareness Service for Practice, policy And Research’ (CASPAR) which delivers free weekly email alerts to keep you up to date with all the latest safeguarding and child protection news.

Safeguarding Disabled Children

Disabled children are recognised as the most vulnerable group in respect of safeguarding their wellbeing. They may have physical, sensory and learning disabilities and difficulties. Severely disabled children often rely on parents and carers to meet most or all of their needs. They may have limited mobility and may find it hard to make their feelings and wishes known because of communication or language difficulties. Children with complex needs may receive services in a range of settings from a number of care providers leaving them vulnerable to ill or cruel treatment, to neglect and abuse. If they have been harmed or ill-treated they may find it difficult to know how they can express their own concerns about their welfare and they may not even know that the care they are receiving is not safe or appropriate. Disabled children trust their care-givers and rely on them to be sensitive to their personal care needs, their health, their emotional well-being and their safety.

Responsibilities of an Organisation Where a Notifiable Incident Occurs

Where a serious childcare incident occurs which meets the definition of a ‘notifiable incident’ as outlined above the first step for any organisation is to ensure it takes appropriate action to ensure the immediate safety of the child or minimise the impact of any serious harm. In all circumstances staff should consult with their Safeguarding Lead/Senior Manager. Safeguarding Lead/Senior Manager should contact their local Safeguarding Board to identify whether the criteria for notification has been met.

Summer Campaign

Our local Safeguarding Board is planning a campaign to coincide with the national Child Safety week. The campaign will focus on three key themes such as e-safety, summer safety and road safety. This is a great and timely campaign to raise awareness of these three key aspects and hope to increase understanding of how children and young people can be safe online, out and about in the summer and on the roads. The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) are also committed to reducing the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents. Since one of the CQC key six population groups is Families, Children and Young People this would be ideal for Practices to be aware of and get involved with in order to evidence the quality of care provided for this group of patents.

Child Safety Week

Child Safety Week takes place over one week every year. This year it will be 6-12 June and the theme for 2016 will be ‘Turn off technology!’. Accidents often happen when we’re distracted.  Serious accidents can happen alarmingly quickly – when we’re answering a call or checking a text. By turning off technology at crucial times in the day, parents can give their children their focus and so keep them safer when pressures mount.

Did You Know?

Accidents are a leading cause of death, serious injury and acquired disability for children and young people in the UK. They account for three deaths every week and over 2,000 hospital admissions. It’s not that accidents can’t be prevented but accidents, by their nature, often come out of nowhere when we’re least prepared for them. Child Safety Week aims to help families understand the risks, as well as the consequences – but most importantly, the simple ways that accidents can be prevented.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT)

The CAPT’s work stops children being killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents - without wrapping them in cotton wool. They offer child safety advice to families, support professionals working with children and families, supporting senior professionals and policy-makers, and advise the government and organisations on child safety. Each year they produce an action pack full of ideas on running events and activities for Child Safety Week, including top tips for engaging with families and carers, tips for working in partnership, information about some of the most common causes of child accidents and how to prevent them, event ideas, and useful resources.

What can you do?

There’s only one week to go but it’s not too late to get involved. Big or small, there are lots of different things you can do during Child Safety Week, and lots of different resources from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to help you plan and run an event or activity. They will support you along the way with essential information and advice, including activity ideas. You can download the full range of free resources from the Child Safety Week website. You may find that your experts such as road safety officers, fire officers or police are willing to give demonstrations or talks but even if you’re short on time, simply put up a display in your waiting room, posters are available using the links below and could be put on your patient toilet doors or baby changing area if you have one.


Child Safety Week:

Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT):

Alison Lowerson – QCS Expert GP Practice Manager Contributor

Topics: GPs

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