First responders in Harrisonburg engage, educate for Safe Kids Week

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 12:47 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Safe Kids Week is all about preventing the preventable. Safe Kids Central Shenandoah Valley hosted a Community Safety Day to promote child safety on Wednesday.

Safe Kids Central Shenandoah Valley aims to provide the education and resources to prevent injuries, involving bikes, cars, fires, and electrical safety.

“Unintentional injuries are still the leading cause of death for children, and those are preventable,” Lt. Erin Stehle, an Education Officer with the Harrisonburg Fire Department, said. “When we talk about drownings, about fire, there are a lot of things we can do as a community to prepare for that ahead of time, and that way we avoid the tragedy of losing a child. I never want anyone to feel that pain ever.”

Kids got the chance to explore first responder vehicles, learn and engage with first responders from the Friendly City, and even get car seats checked.

“We want parents to know how long their child should be rear-facing, how to properly install [a car seat] because any parent out there if you’ve tried to install it, it can be a pain in the but,” Lt. Stehle said.

Leslie Pullen with HFD said more than half of all car seats are not installed properly.

“Bike safety, car seat safety, home safety, water safety, anything you can really think of. If you have any questions we are just opening the conversation to parents and caregivers to talk about it,” Pullen explained.

The Harrisonburg Fire Department, Harrisonburg Police Department, Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, and Harrisonburg Electric Commission were all present to play, including Sgt. John Hancock, with the HPD, who have golf cart rides. He offered some safety tips.

“Be aware of who is in the parks. Be aware of your surroundings, making sure you’re keeping an eye on all your children, especially if they venture over to one play set or another,” Sgt. Hancock said. “And always that general rule -- if you see something and think it looks suspicious, give somebody a call.”

Safe Kids Week runs until May 14. For more about Safe Kids Week, click here.

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