My oldest kid is preK and started something called Safety Town today. I'm not sure if all 50 states have Safety Town but I know that many do. Kids aged 5 usually take it (although it's not mandatory) but the vast majority of kids who can take it, do. Not just for the safety aspect of it, but the fun one. Read on and you'll see why programs like this are every kids dream and take some of the stress off parents who dread explaining fire, death, stranger-danger and all the other facts of life that parents simply have to talk to their kids about.
Our Safety Town is every weekday morning, for two weeks. Pretty long, really. Is there that much out there about safety that our kids need to learn? Well, yeah, now that I think about it.
Each day has a different theme and as I attended orientation this morning, I began to understand why programs like this can make summer camp looking positively passé!
Today, my son made a craft - a cut out copy of his home, complete with his full name, address, phone number and other vitals like knowing his parents real full names, not just "Mom" and "Dad". They then did street safety, curb safety, crosswalks, stop signs and traffic lights and signals.
Tomorrow they get to hang out with the cops! They get to sit in a police car (the only time, I hope) and touch and learn about sirens, flashers, radios and guns. They learn why we need police and how they serve and protect. And about those guns? The teaching part is that guns are never, ever to be touched by children. Ever.
This day is when they learn about stranger-danger. And because so many child abusers are "friends" of the family, our kids will also be taught that no-one (no matter who) gets to touch a kid or take them in their car without prior parent approval. My kids will learn that it doesn't matter if Dad's golf buddy says he has to pick them up from school, they don't get in the car.
I hate that we have to teach our 5 year old that. But we do and we will. We'll just do it in a way that allows him to understand the dangers but not be afraid of every shadow. Sometimes it's a delicate line.
There is so much more.
They will spend a morning with paramedics and an ambulance. Simulate 911 calls with real dispatchers and learn what a real emergency is (not indignantly calling in reinforcements when sent to their room or have privileges taken away due to bad behavior!
They'll spend a morning with firefighters, tour a real fire truck and take part in a simulated house fire! A room is turned into a home and non toxic fake smoke is used to simulate a fire at night or during a day. Our kid will train with real firefighters, in a real life simulation. He cannot wait!
Then it's crossing guard and bike safety day. They will also learn how to ride a school bus safely as well as how to mount and dismount a bus and get home uneventfully. The kids get taken on a school bus ride and get to tour the area around the school. My kid is counting the days for that one!
Another morning focuses on poisons and home safety, including finding pills or playing with cosmetics, lotions and the like, as well as cleaners and all the stuff kept in a garage.
An Energy company will come in one morning and teach our son about power lines, electricity and safety both in and outdoors.
Lastly, he'll tackle water and playground safely. "Never swim alone!" is a major theme. He'll focus on playing safely using play equipment, and he'll learn all aspects of water play and usage.
No wonder this program sells out! What kid doesn't want to spent mornings over the course of two weeks, seeing the inside of police cars, firetrucks, ambulances and school buses, not to mention being their own kind of firefighter, as they learn how to escape safely from a home, if a fire occurs.
In order for everything to make sense, we go over all this training at home with our son, so that he can apply it to his own life and home.
My two younger kids are NOT happy they have to wait to do this. While we've covered a fair bit of this information already, we haven't managed all of it. And I'm more than happy that I have a back up team of teachers and community activists who join with me to teach my kids what they need to know to be safe, happy and healthy.
Oh and the best part? Picking him up! Curbside service, with an embossed ID card on my dash that identifies me as a legitimate pick up for my kid, and a uniformed police officer calling his name and an assistant personally delivering him to our car. The cost of this two weeks, all inclusive? $70. Finally I can say that these are my tax dollars hard at work, without rolling my eyes in sarcasm.
Do you have a program like this in your area? Do you avail of it? How do YOU teach your kids about all aspects of safety?
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.