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The people who organise Taste Tests in the community based groups up and down the country are the real heroes of Child Safety Week. Without their enthusiasm and hard work there would be, quite simply, no Child Safety Week, and lots of parents who haven’t been exposed to the sort of  information that can deflect domestic disasters.

We went to speak to Heather Oakden who has been organising Child Safety Week events for years as part of her role at Home Start in South Edinburgh. Here is what she has to say to our questions;

What sort of things have you done for Child Safety Week?

The Week is a great opportunity to bring mums, dads, grans, grandads, carers, everyone who has an interest in keeping children safe. We like to get together with others working in the community to provide an event that will have something for everyone – and while it is obviously about a serious subject, unless there’s an element of entertainment, no one will show up!

And how does the Bitrex Taste Test fit into the event?

Tasting Bitrex is a bit of a highlight. No one can keep a straight face when trying Bitrex.  There are always shrieks of laughter from people taking the Taste Test. It may be that people are first attracted by the chocolate, but there’s no pleasure without a bit of pain so we insist that there are no chocs without the challenge of Bitrex.

It’s a great social thing to do and the perfect way to get conversations started about keeping children safe from common household, automotive and garden products that might do them harm.

So it’s not all fun?

Well the laughs are a good place to start. There’s no point in starting from a judgemental or critical position. Everyone wants to keep their children safe. But from a shared laugh over Bitrex we can move on to talk about the sort of products Bitrex is added to and the need for vigilance around the home as well as the sort of storage issues that people are more familiar with. You can’t lecture, you can only have conversations and the Taste Test is the perfect conversation starter. Only after you’ve had your chocolate of course!

And Child Safety Week 2018?

Roll on 2018!  It’s never dull!