Child Safety Scotland

The Birthday Party book

The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party is a short story written by Linda Strachan, leading author of children's books. It tells the story of family and friends making safe preparations for a birthday party. This book has been made available for free to all primary schools across Scotland, and is available at the Royal Hospital for sick children in Edinburgh. Below are some examples of ways parents/carers can use The Birthday Party book to teach children about home safety:

  • Read the book together. Point to the dangers in the pictures on each page.
    Dangers in the book
    • toys on the floor
    • child skating in the kitchen
    • child throwing baking mixture causing potential slip hazard
    • liquitabs and cleaning product cupboard accessible
    • children using scissors unsupervised
    • books and other objects on the stairs
    • skates left on the ground
    • medicine in the bathroom within reach
    • boy touching hot tap.
  • Looking at the dangers in the pictures, ask: Why do you think this is dangerous?
  • Ask: How could it be made safer? E.g. lifting the toys off the floor and putting them in a toy box, keeping cleaning products in a cupboard out of reach or in a locked cupboard, supervising the children while they use scissors.
  • Ask: Can you point out good safety practices in the book? If unable to, point these out.
    Good safety practices
    • pot is at back of stove with handle out of reach
    • Jamie's mummy making sure Isla doesn't stand too close to hot oven
    • safety gate on stairs
    • tying up the window blind cord.
  • Imagine you are part of the Safe-T-Crew. Go around the house together and see if they can identify potential dangers. Work together to come up with solutions for those dangers (e.g. tying up blind cords, ensuring cleaning products are out of reach/in locked cupboard). Remind children of ways they can make their home safer, such as putting away toys after playing, asking for help when using scissors, etc.