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20,000th Child To Take Part In Accident Prevention Programme

The Accident & Emergency Department at Manchester Royal Infirmary will welcome Manchester’s 20,000th IMPS (Injury Minimization Programme for Schools) visitor on Thursday, 21st February 2008. The child, a Year 6 pupil at Chorlton C of E Primary School, will visit the department along with their classmates and class teacher for approximately 2½ hours. During this time, they will work in an interactive and hands-on way with a specially trained team of hospital health educators, to learn more about the science of common accidents and injuries, how and why they happen and how they could be minimised through the identification and management of risk and appropriate first aid measures. Sally Morton, IMPS Programme Manager/Child Accident Prevention Strategy Project Officer says: “In the eight years that IMPS has been running locally the project management team have received very positive feedback from both schools’ staff and children, including reports of how children who have been taught IMPS skills have had the knowledge and confidence to successfully help friends and/or family members that have been burnt or scalded or are choking, bleeding or unconscious. “Hospital staff report that children who have participated in the project are less anxious when visiting the department as a patient, and are better informed about the care and treatment they are likely to receive, because of what they have seen and learnt during their IMPS hospital visit.” A recently written local Child Accident Prevention Strategy has highlighted the importance of securing resources to safeguard and extend projects such as IMPS, because they are effective in what they teach children and young people about minimising key accidental injuries at appropriate stages of their life and development. RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) is calling for a massive expansion in schemes which allow children to experience risk so that they will be better prepared for situations that they face in later life. Currently only about 6% of primary school children nationally visit a LASER (Learning About Safety by Experiencing Risk) scheme. Manchester IMPS is LASER accredited and currently reaches about 60% of its eligible population (children in their final year at a Manchester City Council primary school).