Toys banned from ambulances
PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 June 2011
Ambulances are no longer able to carry toys for sick and injured children due to new health and safety rules
FLUFFY toys meant to bring comfort to sick and injured children have been banned from ambulances due to ‘ridiculous’ health and safety fears.
Devoted members of Backwell Mothers’ Union (MU) have been told they are no longer able to knit soft toys for children due to new rules introduced to prevent the spread of infection.
The caring group had been running a Teddies for Tragedy campaign to give children a little comfort when faced with the traumatic experience of riding in an ambulance.
Gwen Adams from Backwell MU said: “When a child is distressed or hurt a little toy makes a huge difference to that child. But now they are not allowed to carry them in ambulances.
“I think health and safety rules have become utterly ridiculous. It means we are unable to help children in our own country. We’ve instead been sending the toys we make abroad.”
Nailsea MU also used to supply teddies to hospitals to give to children who had lost family members or gone through traumatic experiences.
Anitra Steckles said: “We used to give teddies to young children who had been through trauma such as a death in the family or if they are poorly and have to travel in an ambulance, they used to be there so they could hold on to something.”
A spokesman for Great Western Ambulance Service confirmed that the rules regarding infection control are constantly being improved to ensure ambulances are as clean as possible.
John Oliver said: “Ambulances are used to transport very ill people with open wounds and those who are particularly ill and the toys could pass one infection from patient to patient.
“A huge amount of time and effort is spent between every job to clean the ambulance and ambulances have been designed with smooth surfaces and no cracks so there is nowhere for germs to harbour.
“The designs of ambulances, and the materials of our uniforms are constantly being improved to ensure the best infection control.
“We understand entirely that it’s done with the best of intentions and been very welcome but clearly our major concern is the safety of all our patients and in modern ambulances, where the utmost is done to ensure the ambulance is clear from infection, it’s no longer suitable to carry them any more.”
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