Kids learn safety tips outside the classroom

Liberty church teaches prevention, awareness

LIBERTY — As many area children had a day off from school last week, Churchill United Methodist Church opened its doors to offer talks and demonstrations on being safe with golf clubs, automobiles and household tools.

Sharon Wathen, one of the event organizers, said the church wanted to provide a place for children to go since there was no school.  It was also an opportunity to teach them about outdoor safety. Children were given advice and tips. There were also safety demonstrations  and examples of how to care for a younger child or sibling.

The event was part of the third annual Safety Day for Kids program for children in kindergarten to fourth grade.

“We wanted to provide an alternative to parents for child care when there was no school. We chose safety because there are so many things in our world that children need to be aware of.  We have had different safety topics every year to help expand on what they may already know,” Wathen said.

She said children learn of fire safety and stranger awareness at programs at school.

”We try to discuss topics they are involved with in their everyday world,” Wathen said.

The program always includes a sports topic since children participate in various activities. This year the focus was on golf safety.

Wathen said for auto safety children need to be aware not to distract a driver if they are in a car or to be aware and cautious when crossing a street since a driver might not see them.

Safety tips were given to children to share with their parents.

”We want the children to have fun and become educated and know we care about their safety,” Wathen said.

Thirty adults and 12 teens volunteered for the program helping at different stations.

Dale Bernadi showed children different ways to properly hold hammers and drills.

Michael Seawood, 8, of Liberty, said he learned it is important when using tools to make sure you use and hold them correctly.

“I learned my thumb needs to be on a red part of the hammer so I won’t hurt my fingers,” he said.

Joseph Schimpf, 13, and eighth-grader in Girard, said he has attended the church since he was young and now is a helper at Safety Day.

”I am helping this year and also learning ways not to get hurt,” he said.

Barb Gulgas demonstrated golf safety to avoid lightning when using a golf club and also how not to get hit with a club.

“When you hear thunder that means lightning may be around as well and you want to find shelter and not be outside. Metal golf clubs can attract lightning. Whenever you are playing a sport outside you need to be aware,” Gulgas said, noting it’s important to avoid seeking shelter under a tree.

She said people should always be safe and watch the weather when playing outside.

Gulgas said if someone is using a golf club it’s important not to stand too close to avoid getting hit by the club or ball.