Upcoming kindergartners visit Safety Town

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  • PHOTOS BY JANET REDYKE Oops! A crash occurs on the traffic course.

  • Safety Towners and their big kid helpers await the next fun safety activity at the Vernon PAL.

  • Ms. Sarah of the YMCA explains water safety and precautions to the Safety Town youngsters at the Tuesday Aug. 1 program.

  • A traffic and bike safety course rider admits his faux pas. Notice the traffic ticket in the helmet.

It wouldn’t be summer without Safety Town. The Vernon PAL again was the site for the extremely important program that teaches upcoming Kindergarteners about overall safety and being safe.

Safety Town was the idea of Ohio policeman Frend Boals in 1937. The idea was expanded and updated by teacher Dorothy Chlad in 1964.

Vernon Safety Town under the guidance of Director Lisa Haw focused on bicycle, water and electrical safety, stranger danger, traffic rules, CAP (child assault prevention) and acknowledged public servants like police, fire fighters and emergency service personnel. A morning and afternoon session running from July 31 to Aug. 3, kept youngsters busy with learning and hands-on activities about being safe. A graduation and puppet show reviewing lessons learned took place on Aug. 4.

The five-year-old crowd who divided into color groups of red, orange, green, light and dark blue, experienced water safety rules on Tuesday with Ms. Sarah, a certified lifeguard with the Sussex County YMCA. She reviewed many common sense swimming rules that even adults tend to forget or overlook. According to Ms. Sarah, the number one rule is never swim alone, the buddy system is always a requirement. The lifeguard stressed swimming only in roped or flagged areas, when a lifeguard is on duty.

“PFD or personal floatation devices should be used for inexperienced swimmers and only those that are Coast Guard approved.

“Noodles are not official floatation devices,” she warned.

Children paid close attention and were also able to contribute to the presentation with lively comments on their swimming safety habits. Ms. Sarah also spoke on secondary drowning which can be fatal if children continuously retain water in their lungs.

“How do we protect ourselves outside in the sun?” Ms. Sarah asked.

Every Safety Towner knew, “Sunscreen,” they shouted in unison.

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