Thousands of children visit Piki's Room safety game every day
Piki's Room, a safety game aimed at children of day care age, has been created by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) together with the children's programme Pikku Kakkonen of Yle (Finland's national broadcasting company) and Demola, a student innovation centre in Tampere. The game, which seeks to teach children the right attitudes towards safety, and safe conduct, has succeeded in reaching its target audience. Published on the Pikku Kakkonen website in the spring, it is played by around 2,000 young children every day. This week, five new games will be added to Piki's Room for children. The Fire Protection Fund, Sähköturvallisuuden edistämiskeskus - the centre for promoting electrical safety, and road safety promoter Liikenneturva have also contributed to the design and implementation of the new games.
New games on the themes of electrical, fire, traffic, elevator and playground safety have been published on the Pikku Kakkonen website this week. The first three games were published last spring.
Piki's Room teaches children aged 3–6 about how to act safely, in a fun and engaging manner. By playing the game, children unintentionally learn how to stay safe in their own environments. Children's attitudes toward safety and how to behave are formed early on, but safety-related material aimed at this age group is not widely available. Tukes hopes that the game will have a positive impact on children's attitudes toward safety and reduce the number of accidents involving children.
“In general, children below the age of five are not able to read, but they do play games on various devices. That is why we chose games as a channel for introducing basic, age-appropriate safety messages for children. Another objective was to encourage parents to discuss safety issues at home with their children from an early age", says Johanna Salomaa-Valkamo, Director of Communications at Tukes, on the background of the game.
“Moulding attitudes is long-term work that should start as early as possible. Our aim is to educate children and make them into more safety-conscious citizens. The effects of children's safety education can be visible even decades later, as safer behaviour and lower accident rates,” says Tuiri Kerttula, Director of Product and Installation Surveillance at Tukes.
Besides influencing attitudes, our aim is to actually reduce the number of accidents involving children. Every year, children are involved in a number of accidents at home and close to home. Many of these accidents could be prevented. In 2010–2012, the average annual number of fatal accidents involving children under 7 was 14, and the number of children hospitalised due to an accident was 2,700. Common types of accidents are road traffic accidents, drowning, suffocation and poisoning.
Safety game developed in broad-based cooperation
Students at Demola were responsible for the practical elements of the game, under guidance from Tukes. The games were tested at various stages alongside children aged between 3 and 6 in day care centres in Tampere, and developed further based on their feedback.
“At Pikku Kakkonen, we have made several safety-related programmes over the years. The most famous is probably the one about thin ice. Our police officer characters Maltti and Valtti have also given tips on safety in their episodes this summer. Piki's Room is a great continuation of this tradition,” says Jarmo Oksa, Executive Producer, Yle Children and Youth.
“Good, active cooperation among partners produced excellent results in this project – i.e. high-quality, safety-related games suitable for children. The students tested the game elements and were happy to accept feedback from a demanding group of end-users, the children. The feedback resulted in more intuitive games that are more fun to play,” says Antti Salomaa, facilitator of the student project at Demola.
New games in Piki's Room were published this week on the Pikku Kakkonen website at http://www.yle.fi/pikkukakkonen/#!/pikin-huone
The game works on computers and mobile devices. It is also available as a mobile application.
For more information:
Nilla Hietamäki, Communications Officer, Project Manager, tel. +358 29 5052 451
Johanna Salomaa-Valkamo, Director of Communications, tel. +358 29 5052 481
Tuiri Kerttula, Director, Product and Installations Surveillance, tel. +358 29 5052 643
Tukes supervises and promotes technical safety and conformity, as well as consumer and chemicals safety, in various sectors in Finland. The purpose of Tukes' operations is to protect people, property and the environment from risks to safety. Tukes' fields of operation include electricity and lifts, chemical production plants, mining, explosives, fireworks, pressure equipment, measuring instruments, articles made of precious metals, rescue service equipment, construction products, consumer safety and the energy efficiency and ecological efficiency of products.