Children get crash course

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Children from Portlethen Primary, Carronhill School, Arduthie Primary, Catterline School and Glenbervie School were amongst 2,000 young people from across Aberdeen City and Shire to be put through their paces this month by the Aberdeen Safer Community Trust’s, Grampian Safe Team.

The annual safety event which was established in 1992 is this year celebrating 20 years of providing lifesaving advice.

In Scotland, approximately one in seven emergency hospital admissions of children is as a consequence of unintentional injuries and Safe Team, the partnership behind the event, is keen to cut these numbers by making pupils more safety aware in an interactive and educational way.

Aberdeen Safer Community Trust makes it easy and exciting to learn about staying safe in the course of our everyday lives. The schoolchildren take part in simulated real life activities designed to help them learn about protecting themselves from situations which could result in them coming to serious harm.

The emergency services and organisations like the Red Cross, Maritime Rescue Institute, Marathon and Morrison Construction all played a part in making the day a memorable learning experience.

Specially adapted portable buildings were set up, each housing a different scenario with potential hazards which the children can explore and interact with. This year there were 11 sets including a dangerous flat containing fire hazards, a building site, a beach, an electricity sub station, a road and a school bus.

Emma Bellu, chief executive of Aberdeen Safer Community Trust said: “Safe Team is a practical way of educating our children and we know that the children find the methods we use exciting which helps to make learning more memorable and effective.

“The purpose of these workshops and demonstrations is not to alarm or dictate what youngsters should and shouldn’t do. Instead, it’s about giving them an experience that they’ll always remember. We all want to keep our young people safe and this way they can see the damage done when we aren’t aware of the risks and make bad choices.”

Jamie Butler age 11 from Portlethen Primary who attended the event said: “What I really enjoyed about Safe Team is that you actually get to experience the situation and make decisions about how to deal with it.

“It was good to be able to practice in a safe environment and learn from the mistakes that we made on the day. I really enjoyed it when they filled the bedsit full of smoke and we had to get out calmly and call the fire brigade.

“I will definitely remember the lessons I’ve learnt here today and I hope that if I was faced with a real life situation I’d know how to approach a situation safely.”