A charity-run service offering parents courses and practical solutions for child safety within the home and community has avoided closure.

Whoops!, run by Children North East, was due to close on 31st March 2017 when allocated funding ends. Thanks to a special extra award from the Players of People’s Postcode Lottery in 2017, Whoops! has been saved.

Jeremy Cripps, Chief Executive at Children North East said: “Thanks to this extra award from players of People’s Postcode Lottery more children in the North East will grow up in safer environments both at home and in their community.”

“It’s often the little things that we don’t think about which can end up being dangerous, such as passing a hot drink to someone holding a new-born or leaving a plugged in mobile phone charger in reach of a crawling infant. The Whoops! service helps parents to better understand any possible risks, to prevent unintentional injury and thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery we will be able to prevent even more.”

The north east has the highest Accident and Emergency admission rates for 0 to 4 year olds in the country with a rate of 763.6 per 1,000 population in comparison to the England average of 540.5 per 1,000. But many of these A&E attendances are often preventable, and commonly caused by accidental injury or by minor illnesses.

Whoops! has been unable to secure funding for 2017 so far as the public sector continues to make funding cuts. The charity will use the vital funds from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery Extra Award to continue the service whilst they develop a longer term funding stream to carry on the work.

Whoops! Child Safety Project has delivered a range of courses to parents and carers across the North East of England to prevent accidental injury and ensure the home environment is safer for children. Whoops! also covers topical child safety issues in the community such as dog safety to help parents look out for dangers posed by dogs to children, why dogs bite children and how these attacks can be prevented.

Whoops! courses are delivered in a non-judgemental way, using hard hitting methods to motivate positive changes such as burn baby dolls and child dummies to practice child first aid skills. As well as advice, the service provides practical solutions across Newcastle, with home visits to carry out safety checks and install safety equipment in homes to help prevent accidental injury, including safety gates, child-proof locks and window restrictors.

Nicola Howlett, a parent who attended the Whoops! Course, said: “I believe all parents should attend these courses to keep your child safe and prevent the worst from happening.” Following attendance of the course, Nicola was able to act and prevent her son from choking when he got in to difficulty while eating.”

Parents are often surprised how much they learn on the Whoops! Course. Another parent, said: “I didn’t think I would learn as much as I have and I am very grateful.”