More than 800 first graders gathered at Chukchansi Park on Friday, May 20 to learn lessons that may save their lives.
The sixth annual May Day event that’s a part of Children’s Hospital Central California’s Drowning Prevention Program entertained and educated children from throughout the community from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The focus of the event was water safety, health and injury prevention.
The concourse of Chukchansi Park was filled with interesting and interactive booths and exhibits to teach children a range of lessons to help them stay safe, this summer and beyond.
At the pool, two life-sized fish and one starfish taught water safety lessons. A group of teens in a car cutout demonstrated the dangers of distracted driving. One of the lessons taught by Children’s Hospital was where to play safely. One method demonstrated was having children sit on a carpet to show them the blind spots of a car backing up.
New to the line-up this year was a bicycle rodeo that reviewed safe riding practices with children.
May Day is part of a water safety curriculum (that meets state guidelines) created by Quintero. During the week leading up to May Day, Mary Jo Quintero, prehospital liaison nurse in the Emergency Department at Children's Hospital and Water Watchers coordinator, visits classrooms throughout Fresno to prepare children for what they will see at May Day. With a double dose of safety lessons, it’s hoped that children will remember this important information.
Water safety is a critical lesson for children, as they are attracted to water during our hot summer. Each year hundreds of Central California students receive drowning prevention education courtesy of the Kohl's Water Safety Program at Children's Hospital. The presentations emphasize being safe around all bodies of water - pools, lakes, canals, etc. The program is designed to help prevent some of those tragedies. The program travels from the North Valley to as far south as Bakersfield.
Due to the heavy snowpack this winter, the area’s lakes, rivers and canals will be hazardous due to increased amounts of fast flowing – and extremely cold - water.
Drowning is preventable, but is the number one cause of injury-related death for children aged 0-5 living in the Central Valley. So far this year we have seen 11 drowning incidents with children, three of whom died (1 from a pool, 1 bucket and 1 in a river.)