What should you do when you get lost in the woods, see something naughty on the Internet, or meet a stranger?
Ask one of the Tooele County kids who attended yesterday’s second annual Safe Kids Fair and you’ll probably be surprised at the educated answers you’ll hear.
Some 700 kids and about 300 parents attended the afternoon event at the Tooele City Park where they learned about a variety of topics ranging from Internet safety to what to do around animals they aren’t familiar with such as a stray dog or cat.
Entitled, “Follow the Leader, Safety Starts with You,” the event focused on the importance of parents setting the example of safety for their children.
Perhaps the most popular event that the kids were able to participate in was the Utah National Guard’s climbing wall. Brenda Nelson, a public health educator with the Tooele County Health Department, said even though only one guardsman was at the wall, the kids simply loved him being there to help them and watch them climb the tall rock-like wall.
Rachel Riddle of Tooele brought her four children (ages one to seven) to the happening and said they were taught a lot of things that grown-ups just assume kids already know.
One of the specifics she mentioned was that when someone gets lost they should stay where they are.
Children were also taught to blow into a whistle if they become lost in the wilderness because the noise from the whistle can help rescuers find them easier. Several youngsters practiced their whistle blowing skills on handy-dandy plastic blue whistles they received at one of the booths. Thus the air at the park was filled with high pitched whistle sounds throughout the event.
When Riddle’s kids were quizzed by the Tooele Transcript- Bulletin about what they should do if they see something bad while they are on the Internet, they responded correctly by saying, “Tell your parents or teacher.”
Diane Lamm, who brought 11-year-old Shelli Wilson to the event, said she would like to see the fair continue every year and noted that educating kids about various dangers is one of the best ways to provide safety.
Wilson said she thought the fact that she could earn a free swim pass for attending all the information booths was a pretty sweet deal.
Despite long lines and insufficient number of some of the handouts, Nelson said she heard very few complaints from the crowd. Overall she said the entire event was a big success.
She also noted that during the event 600 gun safe locks were given away, 50 booster seats were sold, as well as 200 bike helmets — a sell out of each.
Nelson said a lot of work went into the fair and that it couldn’t have been pulled off without the help of the 20 plus volunteers from various agencies in the county and state.
If you would like to learn more safety tips, call 843-2310 or visit www.tooelehealth.org.