By: Luis Rivera
Fire safety. Boating safety. Wearing seat belts. Protecting hearing. Hands-Only CPR.
Those are just some of the lessons elementary school students learn through our annual Safe Kids Day. At this year’s event, about 100 third and fourth grade students from SAND Elementary School in Hartford gathered on the front lawn of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford and visited different stations to learn ways of preventing unintentional injuries.
The Connecticut State Police brought their Seat Belt Convincer and Rollover Demonstrator to teach the students about the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of buckling up.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection taught the students about the risks of being on the water in the summer and the importance of wearing life preservers.
The Hartford Fire Department brought their Fire Safety House which allowed students to practice escaping from a window after the unit filled with smoke.
Members of Osborne EMS taught students the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR technique.
Other stations included lessons on how students can protect themselves against sports injuries and a headphone-wearing mannequin demonstrated how quickly hearing can be damaged by listening to loud music.
For 22 years, Safe Kids Connecticut, a program of Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, has hosted the event, which is generously sponsored by the Connecticut Elks Association. We are so thankful for their support. We hope the children who attended the event not only learn potentially life-saving skills, but that they also share the information with their families.
Safe Kids Connecticut is dedicated to keeping children safe at home, at school and while they play.
In addition to Safe Kids Day, Safe Kids Connecticut also sponsors other educational events such as bike rodeos, car seat clinics and safety fairs. Events held by our members and volunteers cover a variety of topics, such as fall safety, dog bite safety, poison safety, playground safety and cooking safety.
Preventable injuries remain the leading cause of death among children and teenagers in the United States, and rise sharply in the summer months. Research shows as many as 90 percent of childhood injuries and deaths can be prevented.
While we want children to have fun this summer, we also want them to know they can do so in a safe and smart way to minimize their risk of getting hurt or even killed.
Luis Rivera is the program coordinator of Safe Kids Connecticut, which is a statewide network of organizations and individuals who work to prevent unintentional injuries in children ages 0-19.