Thousands of mums-to-be will be educated about home safety thanks to bespoke fire service funded room thermometers.
Following a recent successful trial of the thermometers in the Barnsley area, maternity units across South Yorkshire will now hand out the thermometers to expectant parents.
As well as telling parents when their baby’s room is at the correct temperature, the specially designed thermometers will also display important messages about topics including home fire safety and smoke free homes.
There will also be a focus on referring people to a Stop Smoking Maternity service, whereby specialist midwives give practical advice and support to families who smoke. As well as greatly increasing the risk of house fires, smoking in pregnancy is known to increase the risk of miscarriagea, still and premature births and other complications.
The project has been awarded just over £23,500 under South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s funding scheme, the Stronger Safer Communities Reserve.
The fund saw dozens of registered charities, community organisations and partner agencies come forward and apply for grants from the £2 million fund, which had been set aside from the Authority’s reserves.
Groups were able to bid for as little as £5,000 or as much as £150,000 to support projects which reduce injuries, save lives and make South Yorkshire safer. Key objectives for the fund include prioritising the most vulnerable, collaboration and data sharing.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue high risk co-ordinator, Sarah Broadbent, said: “We already have a strong relationship with the midwives at Barnsley Hospital, including a successful referral scheme ensuring the most vulnerable families in the borough are referred for our home safety check service.
“This latest project will see important fire safety messages delivered to thousands of families in South Yorkshire, at a busy time in their lives when basic home safety issues could easily be forgotten.”
Joanne Poskitt, Specialist Midwife in Drug and Alcohol Use at Barnsley Hospital, said: “We work closely with the fire service already as it is well documented that there are links between a smoking home and sudden infant death or meningitis.
“The thermometers are a practical and simple tool which will help parents provide a safe sleeping environment for baby, information on creating a smoke free home and offer the opportunity for a free home safety check. We have already been handing out the thermometers in Barnsley and will now be extended to the whole of South Yorkshire.”