Kids learn safety tactics

Published 10:48 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

Forty-four young people know much more about their health and safety today than they did Wednesday.

They participated in the Health and Safety Camp at the Boys and Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties that was sponsored by the Pike County Extension Office and the Boys and Girls Club.

“The Health and Safety Camp was successful in every way,” said Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator. “The participants learned a lot and had a lot of fun. They all received certificates of completion from Pike County Commissioner Homer Wright at the end of the camp.”

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The purpose of the camp was to teach young people about health and safety issues through participation and hands-on learning stations.

“At the first station, the kids got to see how dirty their hands were by putting them under a black light,” Lyons said. “They were shocked to see tons of germs. Then, they washed their hands with soap and water and put them back under the black light. The better they had washed their hands, the fewer germs remained.”

Lisa Wood, agent assistant for the Nutrition Education Program, impressed on the campers the importance of hand washing in relation to good health.

Through the use of fatal vision goggles, Pike County Deputy Sheriff Lauren Williams demonstrated the effect that drugs and alcohol have on an individual.

“The campers walked a chalk line without the goggles and then with the goggles,” Lyons said. “They saw that, when you are influenced by drugs, you are out of control. They also wore the goggles to try and throw a ball to Deputy Williams. Of course, the balls went everywhere.”

Lyons said the campers enjoyed laughing at each other, but they were aware of the effects of drugs and alcohol.

Rachel Lee, regional extension agent for 4-H, led the campers through an obstacle course designed to get the kids moving.

“The ‘Just Move’ activity demonstrated the importance of physical activity,” Lyons said.

The Troy Fire Department manned the first aid and fire safety station. The firefighters put on all of the gear they wear to work a fire.

“The kids saw how the firefighters look without their gear on and with it on,” Lyons said. “They saw there is no reason to be scared of a firefighter in full gear because they are there to help.”

A Troy Fire Department truck was on display and the campers had an opportunity to see the equipment and learn how it’s used during a fire.

Rachel Dykes, regional extension agent for Home Grounds, talked to the campers about chemical and poison safety.

“She showed the kids how difficult it is to distinguish between Windex and blue Gatorade or Mountain Dew and antifreeze,” Lyons said. “If you can’t tell the difference that is the potential for poisoning. That’s why chemicals and poisons should be kept in secure places.”

Pike County EMA Director Jeanna Barnes gave the campers a checklist for supplies for an emergency kit.

“She really stressed the importance of weather radios,” Lyons said. “For a small cost, you can purchase a weather radio that has life-saving potential.”

The Health and Safety Camp for the Boys and Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties completed its second year and is turning into annual event.

“It’s great to partner with the Boys and Girls Club for this event,” Lyons said. “The kids had a lot of fun and they got the messages.”