Sunday, July 20, 2003

Safety lesson is fun, games

By Andrea Uhde
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Cincinnati Museum Center was probably the safest place for children in all of Cincinnati Saturday.

There was a stash of free bike helmets - which most children promptly stuck on their heads - a motor home to crawl through to escape a simulated fire, and several police dogs on the prowl.

About 5,000 people attended the annual Super Safety Saturday, an event sponsored by the Cincinnati chapter of the American Red Cross. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., children and parents learned how to protect their brains from injuries, how to react to chemical spills and how to perform CPR.

The event was more interactive this year than in the past four years, said Jennifer Snedigar, director of marketing for the American Red Cross. "We wanted to make sure children walked away with a piece of health and safety information they wouldn't normally know," Snedigar said. "The best way to do that is through games."

Marlis Hatton, of Hamilton, followed her grandchildren, ages 9 and 4, from booth to booth. She hadn't known the event was going on, but she said she was glad it was. "We ran into this and we've been having a ball ever since," she said.

The children were learning important safety tips, she said. "Even if they know it, they need it reinforced."

Many parents brought their children for the free bike helmets. To get them, the children first watch a video on bike safety.

Mary Geraci brings her children, age 7 and 5, every year. Now the kids tell their parents to be safe.

"They tell us, 'Wear your helmet!' " said Geraci, 33 "They're very good about wearing helmets."


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