AMBULANCE chiefs in North Yorkshire and Cleveland are marking NHS Week by investing in local child safety.

They have launched a fun first aid handbook for youngsters and more than 4,000 of them have gone out to over 100 schools across the region.

Hackforth and Hornby Primary School, in Bedale, was one of the first to receive the books, with the help of sponsorship from the Gibson family of Hunter's Hill Farm. Headteacher Judy Borthwick said: "We plan to give them to the children as homework and reading for the summer holidays.

"We thought they would provide a useful home-school link and we will give a small prize for the infant and junior child who has shown the most interest and enthusiasm in completing the activity pages and tasks.

She said: "Completing the books will be particularly useful for the juniors who will be looking at healthy living as one of their science topics next term.

"So we can refer back to the books and the activities with the children as we develop the topic."

The ambulance service's first aid training manager Bob White said: "I think it's vital that children learn about basic life support at a young age because accidents and emergencies are part of our lives and knowing what to do can often make the difference between life and death."