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Families tested for Child Safety Week

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From learning about the perils of poisons in the home to staying safe on the county’s roads, families in Gloucestershire will take part in a series of events at SkillZONE to mark National Child Safety Week from 24th to 30th June.

Staff at the state-of-the-art safety education centre are inviting safety ambassadors from Oakwood Primary, Rowanfield Junior, Hester’s Way Primary and Gardner’s Lane Primary schools to take part in a special passport challenge, giving them vital road safety advice whether travelling by bus, on foot, on a bike or by car.

Parents will also be invited to taste test Bitrex – a bitter substance added to many household products to stop children accidentally swallowing them.

The ordeal is intended to help families understand the dangers of poisons in the home as those who drink Bitrex will want to spit the product out rather than swallow it.

And even though the flavour will quickly be replaced by a piece of chocolate, the memory of the taste will last a long time – as will the message about preventing their child from being poisoned.

SkillZONE visitors will also be learning about the dangers of scalds and burns and how to respond in an emergency.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for community safety, said: “We always think our children are safe at home, but many childhood accidents happen there. Child Safety Week is a great reminder of the simple steps everyone can take to keep young people safe.”

Donna Potts, SkillZONE manager at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We’re worried about serious accidents to children in Gloucestershire. During SkillZONE’s safety week we will be encouraging everyone to be a safety hero and find out about simple things they can do that will make a real difference to preventing accidents. Child Safety Week gives us a great opportunity to talk to families about accident prevention, have some fun and get some serious messages across.”

Katrina Phillips, chief executive at the Child Accident Prevention Trust, the national charity that runs Child Safety Week, said: “Our message for Child Safety Week is that you don’t need to be superhuman to be a safety hero. Putting your coffee cup out of reach of small hands, keeping painkillers and cleaning things stored safely away, practising road safety with your children while you’re out walking – these small things all add up to children who are protected from serious harm. 

“With the help of SkillZONE and Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership, families can learn how to transform themselves into safety heroes. And there are more tips on how to be a safety hero on the Child Safety Week website new window.”

The Road Safety Partnership is working closely with Gloucestershire’s firefighters to ensure they are trained with the latest in car seat technology, to enable them to give advice to the public on securing the seats in their vehicles.

During Child Safety Week, firefighters will be attending various children’s centres in Cheltenham and Gloucester offering free car seat checks.

Anyone requiring a car seat safety check can request one by contacting the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service community safety team on 01452 753333 or online at


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