At the beginning of the year we discussed calls to add road safety education to the National Curriculum and now this month there have been calls for the mandatory inclusion of Personal, Social, and Health Education (PSHE) in the curriculum, in a bid to limit the number of injuries and accidents amongst children.
The call by the Education Select Committee wants PSHE to be taught in all schools and it has been backed the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. RoSPA provided written evidence to the select committee to help support the need for PSHE in schools, with reducing the amount of accidents and injuries amongst children their key motivator.
Statistics suggest that accidental injuries are the largest cause of death and disability for children and young people and PSHE should provide them with a statutory level of education warning against different kinds of hazards which are encountered on an everyday basis.
Children’s Accidents and Injuries
There is considerable data which shows how many children are injured in their homes each year. Statistics suggest as many as 500,000 children in the UK suffer an injury of some kind in their home.
Some of the main causes of injury and even death are fire, which is responsible for just under half all accidents to children and falling from windows or balconies, with ten children every year dying in this way. These are two things which can be discussed and learned about in PSHE lessons, with statistics such as these used sensibly as deterrents and as learning aids.
Safety in the Home and Community
In their guidance for preventing accidents and injuries to children in the home and community, the NHS highlight several ways the risk of injury and accident can be reduced and one of the main things they say is raise awareness. Children of all ages can be told, in an age appropriate way, about the dangers in the home and community. The youngest children should always be supervised anyway and as they get older, parents, teachers and other people involved in their care can take the necessary steps to make them aware of risks.
This can be supported by school-based learning on the same topics and in the long-run the more children who are aware of the risks, the more care will be taken and there is hope the number of accidents in the home and community can be reduced.
Lamb & Co supports any changes to education and legislation which put safety at the forefront and we hope to see PSHE becoming mandatory across all schools.