Keeping 'em out of harms way

The aim of this campaign was to make sure that parents and carers were well informed of ways in which to keep children safe from accidents and dangerous situations. In order to provide a timely news hook, the campaign took place as part of Child Safety Week (June 19th to June 25th 2006).

To further strengthen the impact of the story, Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) commissioned a survey of 8-15 years olds in order to find out from youngsters themselves why they take risks and what would prevent them from doing so. Encouragingly, the survey showed that safety messages about drugs and talking to strangers are getting through to children, with 95% of respondents agreeing that getting into a strangers car was ‘very risky’. In contrast however, road safety still remained an issue with only around two thirds of children thinking that cycling at night without lights or texting whilst crossing a road was an extremely risky thing to do.

Furthermore, the survey also revealed that simply telling children about the dangers of an accident on the road isn’t enough. They actually need to hear graphic details of what might happen or even see images of road accidents in order to change the way they think about the possible consequences of their actions. Of course, this may have come as shocking news to parents who have tried to protect their children with simple guidelines or more gentle tactics but with CAPT representatives and children themselves as spokespeople, the campaign enabled CAPT to explain to parents how the results of the survey should influence the way in which they educate their children about danger. This meant that the strategy had to offer opportunities for more extended messaging as well as the hard-hitting news headlines. Radio listeners and TV viewers were also advised, as a key part of every interview, to refer to for further information on keeping their children safe.

Well chosen CAPT spokespeople allowed us to secure coverage on more than 90 radio stations with a combined weekly reach of more than 5.5 million. Stations covering the story included IRN, Metro and Red Dragon. In addition, the Child Safety Week Campaign messages were viewed by a TV audience of more than 1 million across 3 pieces on Channel 5 and Sky.

N.B Child Accident Prevention Trust is a national charity committed to reducing the number of children and young people killed, disabled and seriously injured as a result of accidents.