Program promotes state parks and safety

PRATT - Spring is here, and that means Kansans are getting outdoors more often. Kansas state parks offer families a great place to enjoy the outdoors. To help park visitors have safe outdoor fun, Kansas SAFE KIDS offers a number of educational opportunities.

During National SAFE KIDS Week 2005 - April 30 - May 7 - the program will highlight the importance of role models in childhood injury prevention by encouraging parents and older children with the slogan, "Follow the Leader, Safety Starts with You." As part of this initiative, SAFE KIDS has created role modeling fact sheets on wheeled sports safety, child passenger safety, pedestrian safety, and water safety.

SAFE KIDS Week activities in Kansas will take place on Friday, May 6. At 39 local host sites across the state as well as flagship events at Cedar Crest in Topeka and at Fort Larned, more than 18,000 third grade students will test their safety skills in interactive relays. Events include titles such as "Stop, Drop & Roll," "Dial 911," "Swim Safe," and "BEEP BEEP" (a smoke detector test). A media event will be held at Cedar Crest featuring Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the 2005 Kansas Safety Star, McKenna Tauer, who was saved by her bike helmet last September.

Local groups will host safety fairs, bike rodeos, and child passenger safety events throughout the week. Events will coincide with a retail promotion sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

For more information about SAFE KIDS WEEK 2005 and child safety in general, contact Jan Stegelman, Kansas SAFE KIDS coalition coordinator, at 785-296-1223 or visit online. For more information about Kansas state parks, including special park events, go to Kansas State Parks.

Kansas SAFE KIDS, Inc., is a nonprofit coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children. Kansas SAFE KIDS is part of the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, the first and only national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the prevention of childhood accidents ? the number one killer of children ages 14 and under.