Parents urged to prevent children from playing chicken

Safety initiative aims to reduce dangers of accidents during school holidays.

Fay Goodman, founder of new Birmingham-based children’s safety education charity and well-known regional campaigner as managing director of DriveSafe & StaySafe, is urging parents to be extra vigilant about their children’s safety as school summer holidays get under way.

Encouraging the Government to launch a public child safety education campaign in the face of a widespread increase in daredevil activities known as ‘playing chicken’, Fay said: “I am horrified by police reports from across the UK of groups of children as young as five risking their lives by daring each other to lie down in the road or clamber over the roofs of derelict buildings. Recently, a nine-year-old only survived by a miracle after falling thirty feet through a roof in Birmingham.

“It’s a crying shame that we don’t have national public safety campaigns anymore. Risky activities like these show that child safety education needs a massive boost. Teaching children simple check points and tips will make all the difference to accident prevention.”

The Conies are a family of cartoon traffic cones that educate children in road and personal safety. They offer a role model as Safety Heroes for Kids as the Green Cross Code man and Tufty the Squirrel did in their day.

Teachers participating in a Conies Walking to School Safely pilot scheme in 27 Birmingham primary schools this year said it produced a 100% improvement in road safety awareness. Eighty percent of them admitted that they had not undertaken structured road safety education prior to the pilot.

The Conies charity was formally launched this month by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood, at an event sponsored by the president of Pertemps, Tim Watts. Leading representatives from West Midlands business and public service organisations attended. Watts is an ambassador for The Conies along with rock legend Rick Wakeman.

Fay Goodman added: “I was thrilled by the tremendous show of support at our launch. The Conies have the potential to save countless young lives regionally and nationally. Our Walking to School Safely scheme is just the first of many covering areas that pose greatest risk to children. Our pilot showed that children really engaged with The Conies and remembered the safety messages. We now need to work together to consistently educate children to be self-aware and prevent them from putting themselves in danger in the first place.”