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Event teaches children to stay safe, healthy

Local nurses and emergency personnel teamed up this weekend for the county’s first annual Safe Kids Day.
The event, which offered games and prizes for the children while teaching them ways to be safe, was held Saturday at Granite Lake Park in Granite Quarry.
“We hoped to increase safety awareness, prevent accidents and hopefully save some lives by educating parents and kids, and at the same time provide fun activities for all,” said organizer Wanda Morrow, an emergency room registered nurse.
Morrow, along with fellow nurses from the Hefner VA Medical Center, coordinated the participating emergency response agencies and funded the event.
Those agencies included the Granite-Faith Police Department, Granite Quarry Fire Department, Salisbury Police, Salisbury Fire Department, Rowan County EMS, Rowan County Rescue Squad and Rowan Regional Medical Center. Also on hand were many more local health and child care providers.
The wide variety of safety lessons included: traffic, car seat and gun safety, bike helmet usage, first aid and CPR, proper handwashing and fire safety.
Participating organizations included: Lowe’s Home Improvement, which provided child safety products for the home; Bob Pendergrass, with the Nature Center at Dan Nicholas Park, who brought snakes, spiders and plants to teach children how to avoid some of the dangers in nature and representatives from Rowan Home Extension, who discussed child obesity.
Also, representatives of Smart Start Rowan, Arc of Rowan County and the Rowan County Health Department were available to speak to parents about immunization and other children’s health issues.
Salisbury Police taught participants about the dangers of drinking and driving. They armed the children with blurred goggles and let them drive a department golf cart to simulate drunken driving.
Members of their gang unit were also on hand to talk about gangs.
The ER nurses provided information on first aid, proper handwashing, child CPR and choking.
The Salisbury Fire Department brought its Kids Safety House, where the “home” fills with “smoke” and the children try to find their way out by crawling on their hands and knees.
Morrow said the children really enjoyed the house.
Healthy Baby Coalition also participated.
Food Lion provided free hot dogs and hamburgers, Cheerwine provided drinks and Fred’s gave a bicycle to a winner via a drawing. Organizers also gave out free bicycle helmets.
Morrow said everyone who attended had fun, and the children enjoyed all of the activities.
“Our goal was to educate parents and children on safety and injury prevention,” she said.
Organizers hope to continue the event in years to come.

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