PUBLISHED: 11:11 AM on Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Kid Safe Saturday - safety education made fun
Whether you want your children to understand the importance of wearing a life jacket when you go fishing, or why it's important to stay away from electrical outlets, or how to behave safely around other people's pets, you'll have help readily available at this weekend's Kid Safe Saturday at Centennial Hall, arranged by Bartlett Regional Hospital.

The 14th, now biannual, Kid Safe Saturday offers opportunities for kids and their parents to familiarize themselves with most everything related to staying safe. Kids have the opportunity to learn a wide variety of safety skills and to meet public safety personnel, from firemen and emergency medical technicians to police officers. Parents can choose to enroll their children in identification programs, and, with their children, attend safety classes. Kid Safe Saturday has been a successful event in the past largely because of its unique approach to teaching safety: It's not focusing on the "don'ts," but actually makes learning safe behavior something fun and entertaining for kids as well as parents. And lessons learned in the midst of fun tend to stick better than lectures.

Kid Safe Saturday is made possible by generous volunteers and support from:
Airlift Northwest Air Ambulance
Alaska Department of Fish & Game
Alaska Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation
Alaska Electric Light & Power Company
Alaska Native Sisterhood
American Red Cross
Bartlett Regional Hospital
Bartlett Regional Hospital Guild
Capital City Fire & Rescue Volunteer Firefighters
Capital Transit
City & Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation
Denali Kid Care
Gastineau Humane Society
Grateful Dogs
Juneau-Douglas High school
Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club
Juneau Police Department
Juneau Public Health
Juneau Rifle & Pistol Club
Juneau Safe Kids Coalition
National Council on Alcohol & Drug Dependence
Northland Audiology
Princess Tours
State Fire Marshall
The Aware Shelter
Tongass Regional Eye Center
United States Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary
U.S. Forest Service
This year's lineup of sponsors and participants - over 30 in all - is as impressive as ever. Capital Transit will have a bus outside to teach kids who are used to riding the school bus that the regular city buses don't operate under the same rules; AEL&P brings their usual instructional and fun setup to teach kids safety around power lines as well as to be checking for electrical fire hazards around the home.

"We had to completely rethink our use of extension cords around the house after our five-year-old visited Kid Safe," said one Juneau parent who has brought her kids to this event several times.

The U.S. Forest Service and Alaska Department of Fish & Game will teach wildlife safety, and the Gastineau Humane Society will talk about how to keep pets and children safe around each other. And that's only a fraction of the fun education available for free.

When families check in at the entrance of Centennial Hall, they are given a "goodie bag" with free information and safety gadgets - a bag that also has room for the free give-aways at many booths, as well as any raffle prizes you might walk out with.

Classes and exhibits open at 10 a.m. and run through 3 p.m. Free lunches for kids are available at the Zach Gordon Youth Center.