Safe Kids Conference: Children’s Hospital Promotes Youth Safety In Ohio
During the recent Safe Kids Conference, held June 20-21 in Washington D.C., we had the pleasure to meet with Lisa Pardi, who works as Injury Prevention Coordinator at the Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron (CHMCA) in Ohio. The hospital is a key member of the local Safe Kids Coalition, a worldwide organization committed to safety education for children.
In addition to education programs, Safe Kids also helps provide discount safety equipment, grants, funding and research data, and is a vocal advocate for children safety with the local, state and national government.
The Akron Safe Kids Coalition can count on the support of numerous local organizations, such as fire and police departments, school boards and national partners like AAA and First Energy. "Everyone contributes by providing expert content according to their field, whether for advocacy or education, as well as volunteer work, grants and funding", explains Lisa Pardi.
The Hazard Hamlet Electrical Safety Simulator
The Hazard Hamlet simulator is a perfect example of collaboration among Safe Kids members: the Children's Hospital acquired it after a recommendation from the local fire department, and First Energy provided the necessary funding. "We find it really helpful in reaching out to children: it shows what could happen, what the risks are both inside and outside the home."
The simulator has been extensively used for presentations in front of hundreds of thousands of students and parents. "Everyone likes it: it's a very engaging tool that stimulates all the senses".
After years of using the original Hazard Hamlet, Lisa Pardi considers the new, compact version of the simulator as a blessing for people of smaller stature, like herself: "Anything that can make it easier to move and transport equipment is welcome!". The more compact size is also appreciated when storage space is an issue.
For the future, Lisa Pardi would be delighted to see new simulators addressing issues such as flood or extreme weather dangers and pool safety.
Education In Europe: How The Hazard House Fire Safety Simulator Is Used In Germany
Herbert Christ has been a Fire Safety Educator at Kreisfeuerwehrverband Gotha – the County Fire Association of Gotha, in the state of Thuringia – since 1999. His organization mainly teaches schools and kindergartens about the basics of fire and energy safety, using the Modeltech Hazard House as a presentation tool.
"It's a great invention", says Herbert Christ. "The kids are amazed by the level of details and small moveable parts". Mr. Christ says that children's natural curiosity makes them quick to point out moving elements that could be overlooked during the presentation. "The kids end up teaching the firefighters!"
He further adds that his fellow educators enjoy working with the new simulator, finding it easy to use. "It does most of the work by itself!"
Timing couldn't be more perfect to release a new version of the simulator in Germany. After an annual meeting with Fire Safety Educators from all 16 German states, Mr. Christ observed that "people are more and more concerned about fire safety, and regulation is becoming more strict regarding smoke detectors."
The County Fire Association of Gotha works closely with state associations, and Herbert Christ has long been Chief of the Kreisjugendfeuerwehr Gotha – the County Fire Association for Young Firefighters. Similar to the Air Cadets or Boy Scouts, the Association helps youths 6 to 18 years old from over 1,000 schools achieve personal growth and build self-esteem through competitions and workshops.