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Nearly 200 children attend Safety Saturday in Silverdale

Children learned a variety of safety tips at Safety Saturday, hosted by the American Red Cross. - Courtesy photo
Children learned a variety of safety tips at Safety Saturday, hosted by the American Red Cross.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Nearly 200 children walked the halls of Ridgetop Junior High School Saturday with arms heavily bandaged.

No, they were not injured. Children ages 7-12 participated in the eighth annual Safety Saturday hosted by the American Red Cross this weekend at the Silverdale junior high school.

Jackie Fojtik, American Red Cross youth program manager for the West Sound Service Center, said this year's Safety Saturday went well and the group of children seemed to enjoy themselves and learn lots of useful information and safety tips.

"It's going really well. It's a pretty mellow group," Fojtik said.

Children spent the entire day rotating between various 30-minute to one-hour-long sessions learning about everything from how to treat cuts and scrapes to how to prepare for a long hike or camping trip.

"They love them all. They love the basic aid training part where they get to put bandages on each other," Fojtik said. "They love meeting with the sheriff's deputies."

Kitsap Department of Emergency Management professionals taught children emergency preparedness and Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies taught children the importance of safety at school, home and play as well as bike and helmet safety at the Red Cross event.

"Well, I've learned about stranger safety, water safety and I also learned about how people should help people when they're hurt," said 11-year-old Nathaniel Patterson, of Silverdale.

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue (CKFR) officials taught the importance of fire safety and escape plans in the home.

"I think it shows them that it's a serious situation anytime there's a fire and practice, practice, practice is important," said CKFR firefighter Ken Nilson.

Nilson said he believes the children will bring the safety messages home to their parents, who will then implement a fire escape plan in their own homes thanks to the lessons learned at Safety Saturday.

Kitsap Credit Union again offered free Ident-A-Kid photos and finger printing packets in the Ridgetop Junior High library.

About 50 Red Cross volunteers spent the day teaching children first aid training and ensuring the day's events ran smoothly.

"We are so lucky," Fojtik said.

She said even though some children come to Safety Saturday already knowing a thing or two about safety, the professionals always teach them something new each year at the Red Cross event.

"I think everybody comes here knowing a little something about something," she said. "They always go away knowing more than they came in with."

Nilson, a first-time Safety Saturday participant, said the Red Cross volunteers and local professionals coming together for the event shows the importance of teaching children various safety messages.

"I think it's wonderful. It's a great collection of people in the area coming together to educate our children," he said.

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