26 November 2003
New good practice guidelines have been launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for schemes which provide opportunities for children, adolescents and the elderly to learn about safety and accident prevention in an interactive mock setting.
They have been produced because there has been no common guidance for the 200 current schemes on important issues such as the ideal group size or how long activities should last.
The projects are known as LASER – Learning About Safety by Experiencing Risk – and the guidelines will be of value to the wide variety of existing schemes and for those planning new ones.
Those taking part gain practical skills to deal with potentially dangerous situations. They cover such things as fire and electrical safety in the home and hazards on the road. A key feature of the guidelines is the evaluation tool kit, which is essential to those already running schemes and others who would like to be involved, so they can plan and develop their programme for their needs.
The document is aimed at key agencies such as the police, fire and health services and other organisations involved in safety education issues.
Juliet Brown, RoSPA Head of Safety Education, said: "I see the guide as being crucial to ensure that key safety messages are delivered in a fun and interactive way, based in a realistic setting. The schemes will encourage children and other participants to discuss their experience and share their knowledge.
"In the past, organisers of LASER schemes have almost been working in the dark, which is why we felt is was necessary to draft this document.
"The guidance is comprehensive and user friendly, so those involved in the 200 safety schemes around the country can now strengthen their good work and build on their success. It is hoped that the guidelines will encourage schemes to share good practice.”
Another benefit of the guidelines is the flexibility of the resources, which include examples of lesson plans that can be photocopied and adapted for each individual scheme.
The good practice guidelines can be downloaded for photocopying from: www.lasersafety.org.uk