As Children's Health Month is observed this month, Safe Kids of East Central Georgia is participating in community events to raise awareness of child safety.
"In the fall months, we try to bring awareness to Halloween safety," said Rene Hopkins, coordinator of Safe Kids.
Safe Kids will set up a booth at Wal-Mart in Evans on Oct. 17 from 2 to 6 p.m. where games relating to child safety, particularly Halloween safety, are played. Parents also will be able to participate, and Hopkins said they just might learn a few things themselves.
"The parents are often surprised by the answers to some of our questions," she said. "Sometimes they think they know what the answer is, but they don't." Among the Halloween safety issues Hopkins will address are the need for reflective material or costumes and the importance of being aware of pedestrian traffic. Parents are encouraged to take their children trick-or-treating, especially if they are under 10.
"Children under the age of 10 don't have the cognitive ability to be safe pedestrians," Hopkins said.
Among other Children's Health Month events, Safe Kids will participate in a a Bike Rodeo at Lowe's on Bobby Jones Expressway. Lowe's is sponsoring a Safety Day on Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"A bicycle rodeo combines actual skill of riding - balance, pedaling, etc. - with the rules of the road," Hopkins said. "Bicyclists still need to understand they have to follow the rules of the road, like stopping when they come to a stop sign."
Staff Sgt. Trip Penn of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office says it's important to teach the fundamentals of bicycle safety fundamentals to children.
"It's important to do programs like this to prevent injuries," said Penn, who will be at the Lowe's Safety Day event. "We will have a course set up where the youngsters can ride their bikes. We will put our own cars out there and have some props. Basically, it will be set up like a city street."
Safe Kids and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office will distribute bicycle helmets to children who either do not have one or who have one that does not fit properly. All helmets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
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