As summer break kicked off for many Thurston County students, Safe Kids Thurston County, a program of Child Care Action Council, created an entire event focused on how to stay safe this summer. The free family event took place in the hanger bay at McLane Black Lake Fire Department and also across the street at Discover Aquatics on June 22, 2019.
“Learning about summer safety is vitally important,” said Safe Kids Thurston County Coordinator, Danielle King. “Preventable injuries often occur in predicable ways and can be completely avoided with the right education, awareness, and planning.”
Twelve organizations came together to help prevent these injuries and raise awareness about summer safety. Kids and their families participated in fun, hands on activities and answered questions to test their summer safety knowledge. Plus, parents received information and free safety items to help keep their kids safe. Here’s a few of our favorite safety tips:
- Passenger safety: Target Zero informed families that any child over the age of 4 but shorter than 4 foot 9 inches who outgrow a harness seat will be required to use a booster seat (law effective January 2020). The changes mean most kids will need a booster seat until they are 10 or 12 years old.
- Bicycle safety: Sprocket Hero talked about how a properly-fitted helmet is the most effective way to prevent a head injury resulting from a bicycle crash. More info: https://www.safekids.org/tip/bike-safety-tips
- Water safety: Discover Aquatics gave a 30-minute water safety lesson to participants in response to research that shows that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1 to 4.
- Summer grilling safety: While the hot dogs were cooked and served, Brian King Farmers Agency demonstrated safe grilling by keeping children away from the grill area by declaring a 3-foot "kid-free zone".
- Fire safety: Firefighters coached kids on how to respond to the sound of smoke alarm by navigating their way out of the Smoke House. Children learned how to get low and get out of the house. Thurston County Disaster Management also talked to parents about installing smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
- Choking hazards awareness: For children under five, keep small objects such as buttons, beads, jewelry, pins, nails, marbles, coins, stones, and tacks out of reach and sight. Safe Kids Thurston County also provided each family with a choke tester to help parents look for and remove all small items that are within their child’s reach.
- Summer safety: Capital Medical Center had kids spin the question wheel and answer questions about summer safety. One great question was “when should you not go swimming”? Kids came up with many correct answers including when you are by yourself, tired, cold, overheated, and/or if thunder is seen or heard.
- Boating safety: The Boating Program and Washington State Parks gave information to parents that youth 12 and younger are required to wear PFD’s while boating (including kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes). Adults are also encouraged to always wear their PFD’s, because there is often not enough time to put in on in an emergency.
A huge thank you to our sponsors for underwriting the cost of the event and also our activity partners for providing fun, hands-on activities for children and their families to help them stay safe all summer long!
Thank you to our sponsors:
Thank you to our activity partners:
Brain Injury Alliance of Washington, Boy Scouts Troop 48, Capital Medical Center, Discover Aquatics Swim School, Brian King Agency / Farmers Insurance, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Intercity Transit, McLane Black Lake Fire Department, Safe Kids Thurston County, Target Zero Thurston Task Force, Thurston Gun Sense, Thurston County Emergency Management, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, and Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission Boating Program.