Soldotna Safety Day teaches vital lessons

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kenai Peninsula residents learned Saturday how best to be safe rather than sorry at Soldotna Safety Day.

Photo By Brielle Schaeffer
Photo By Brielle Schaeffer
Icyalayd Douglas, 3, gets fitted for a helmet at Soldotna Safety Day on Saturday.

The event, held at Soldotna Creek park and sponsored by Nancy Mitchell and the City of Soldotna, had several informational booths from different agencies informing the public on safety and training related issues.

Mitchell, a State Farm Insurance agent, started Soldotna Safety Day more than a decade ago after seeing dangerous situations firsthand through her job.

"In my particular business I pay out a lot of money for car crashes and people getting injured," she said.

Education and training can sometimes be the best prevention. And safety tidbits were shared all over the park.

"If you don't know the animal, don't touch it and always wash your hands after petting," said Kade Foust, a 4-H club member, offering his advice on animal safety.

"Be fire wise around your home," said Fiona Taylor, fire prevention officer for the Division of Forestry. "You want healthy trees at a good distance from your house."

At Safety Day, a popular stop was Safe Kids Kenai Peninsula's booth selling hundreds children's bicycle helmets for $5.

"We always need helmets," said Lance Roberts, of Soldotna, while purchasing one for his granddaughter Icyalayd Douglas, 3. "I was just going to buy her first bike today so this was good timing."

Soldotna Police Officer Derek Urban was there to do the department's customary children's bicycle auction. He said that overall bicycle safety, wearing helmets, and knowing the rules of the road are some of the most important things for bicyclists.

Children need to know the rules just like drivers, Urban said. Bicyclists can get tickets if they don't stop at stop signs or do not have lights on their bike when riding after dark, he said.

Safe Kids Kenai Peninsula also provided free car seat safety checks for interested parents.

"Four out of five times there is some error installing the child in the car seat or in the vehicle," said Jane Fellman, coordinator for Safe Kids on the Kenai Peninsula. "They definitely save lives just like seat belts."

The car seat safety checks are something that hits really close to home for Mitchell.

"Being a grandmother, I'm really concerned about car seat safety checkups for my kids," she said.

She's also adamant about teen driving safety, she said, citing several fatal accidents over the years that occurred on prom nights.

"This year there were no teens that died during prom. Talk about an answered prayer," Mitchell said.

Homer Electric Association employees showed kids the dangers of electricity with a live wire demonstration. They set up temporary power poles with live wires to demonstrate how hot and fast electricity is when it comes into contact with people or other objects, like fallen tree limbs.

"Just be safe," Mitchell said. "This is something I'm really passionate about."

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at brielle.schaeffer@peninsulaclarion.com.



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