Community

American Red Cross touts safety first

Sarah Smith, 6, of Poulsbo, practices bandaging the arm of Riley Lint, 9, of Shelton, at last year’s Safety Saturday. - Rachel Brant/file photo 2007
Sarah Smith, 6, of Poulsbo, practices bandaging the arm of Riley Lint, 9, of Shelton, at last year’s Safety Saturday.
— image credit: Rachel Brant/file photo 2007

How to treat scratches, scrapes, sprains and strains are just a few things children will learn at this year’s Safety Saturday.

The American Red Cross is sponsoring the eighth annual Safety Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 25. Local safety professionals will spend all day teaching children ages 7-12 various safety tips at Ridgetop Junior High School in Silverdale.

“It’s an all-day safety workshop for the kids,” said Jackie Fojtik, American Red Cross youth program manager for the West Sound Service Center. “We think it’s a great message that they aren’t learning anywhere else.”

About 50 Red Cross volunteers will spend the day teaching children first aid training ranging from how to treat cuts to handling choking emergencies.

Kitsap Department of Emergency Management professionals will teach children emergency preparedness and Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue officials will teach the importance of fire safety and planned exit drills in the home.

“Everybody’s onboard to hammer out a message,” Red Cross volunteer coordinator Kelly Finch said.

Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies will teach children the importance of safety at school, home and play as well as bike and helmet safety at the Red Cross event.

“For some of them that’s their first experience with a police officer, so they now know they’re there to help,” Fojtik said.

Kitsap Credit Union will again offer free Ident-A-Kid photos and finger printing packets with a parent’s consent.

For the second year in a row, children will learn the 10 essentials for spending time outdoors whether it’s at a day hike or overnight camping trip.

“It’s things you’re just going to remember when you’re out for a day,” Finch said.

A free pizza lunch and T-shirt will be provided at Safety Saturday and Cowboy Buck and Elizabeth will perform for the children during the meal.

“They’re great entertainment with a safety message,” Fojtik said.

She said children ages 7-12 are “so receptive” to the messages taught at Safety Saturday. She added that many Safety Saturday attendees take the messages home to their parents, who then practice the safety tips.

“The messages the kids take home are a great way to get them home to the parents,” Fojtik said.

She said about 70 children are signed up for Safety Saturday and she plans to have about 200 children in attendance.

“It’s really important that they register early because we do have a cutoff at 200,” Fojtik said.

Both Fojtik and Finch said many children attend Safety Saturday year after year as a refresher course on the safety tips and techniques. Children also bring their friends or siblings to the event.

“A lot of the kids come back. It becomes almost a family event after a while,” Finch said. “You start to see the generations of kids, which is kind of cool.”

Fojtik said Safety Saturday is a great way for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and CampFire groups to earn safety badges.

“The kids have a good time and everybody gets a positive message out of it,” Finch said.

To register a child for Safety Saturday, call (360) 478-7685 or e-mail safetysaturday@seattleredcross.org.

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