The Central Shenandoah Valley Safe Kids Coalition and the Harrisonburg Fire Department look forward to a special seasonal guest visiting in Harrisonburg through the month of December!
Safety Sally, the elf, will be in Harrisonburg for 24 days of mischievousness. Each day, pictures will be shown of the troubles Safety Sally has gotten into overnight and safety tips will be provided for how to prevent that from happening to children in our community.
To follow Safety Sally, visit the Central Shenandoah Valley Safe Kids Coalition on Facebook.
Safety Sally noticed her friend Tommy wasn't breathing. Thankfully, she had taken a CPR class and knew what to do! She called 9-1-1, performed CPR, and Tommy survived! If you or your family members are not certified, be sure to check with the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross for classes in your area.
This morning, Safety Sally decided to cook breakfast for her friends. Although this was a very nice thought, Safety Sally is too young to cook on the stove top without an adult's assistance. Children should never play near or climb on a stove. Always remember to keep the handles of pots and pans turned away from the front of the stove so children can't grab them.
While enjoying the warm December weather, Safety Sally decided to go to one of the beautiful parks in Harrisonburg where she was caught not being safe by Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation personnel. They explained to Safety Sally that she needs an adult with her every time she goes to the playground and she must follow the playground rules. More information on playground safety can be found at Safe Kids Worldwide. Follow along to see more antics of Safety Sally until December 24.
Safety Sally was visiting students at a city school and decided to see what would happen when she pulled the fire alarm. Thankfully, the principal at the school caught Safety Sally before she actually pulled the alarm. Safety Sally had to visit Deputy Fire Marshal Mike Armstrong, who explained that pulling a fire alarm is a class 1 misdemeanor and you could have to pay fines and restitution. Pull a fire alarm only when you have a real emergency!
Safety Sally visited family members with a gas stove. She was mesmerized by the flames from the fire and decided to get a little too close. The closer she got to the fire, the hotter she was and she quickly realized it was not safe. Adults should always monitor children around any type of wood or gas stove or fireplace and explain the dangers of accidental burns. Use a door or screen to keep sparks from flying out and to protect children and adults from accidental clothing ignition.
While visiting the fire chief's office, Safety Sally decided to help decorate the Christmas tree. She plugged lights together that weren't compatible and she put the cord underneath the tree skirt. Chief Shifflett arrived to explain to Safety Sally that she could have caused a fire. Always make sure to read instructions to find out which lights and how many lights can be connected safely together. Never place an electrical cord underneath a rug or fabric for any reason. If you have a live tree, be sure to water it every day. Safety Sally learned a lot of information from Chief Shifflett.
Safety Sally decided to visit her friends at the Harrisonburg Fire Department to get on the computer and check her email. As she was trying to figure out which cord plugged in the computer, HFD's Department Systems Analyst Zac Hittie passed by and saw what she was doing. Safety Sally was reminded that adults are the only ones who should plug in electrical cords to the outlets. Those with young children should also use safety plugs in outlets that are not being used so children do not stick objects or their fingers inside.
This morning, Safety Sally got into her toy car and drove to the park to meet her friends. She was so eager to speak with everyone, she started texting while driving. In Virginia, texting while driving on the roadway is a primary violation. Safety Sally remembered hearing a public safety message on the radio and quickly stopped the texts so she would not wreck. Take the time to remind others, especially teenage drivers, to never read, write, or send a text message or use any other device while driving.
Being the curious elf that she is, Safety Sally decided to snoop through the cabinets at her friend's home. In a lower cabinet, she found lots of brightly colored containers and boxes that had a variety of ingredients inside. Little did Safety Sally know that each container had hazardous ingredients should they be consumed by a child or elf. Her friend's mother realized the dangers and decided to move all hazardous products to a cabinet that was higher up and out of the reach of her children.
While helping to decorate for the holidays with her friends, Safety Sally was not being very safe and almost slipped out of a window located on the second story of a home. Kids are curious and can easily slip out of the window. Thousands of children are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital each year after falling out of a window. Whenever possible, open windows from the top - instead of the bottom and install window stops so that windows open no more than four inches.
Safety Sally is eager to go to Harrisonburg's holiday parade this evening at 7:30pm and was found standing up in the car. Her relatives made an appointment with the Harrisonburg Fire Department's safety seat technician to ensure her car seat was properly installed to keep Sally safe. This is a free service provided by HFD. To make an appointment, call Ariel Rodriguez, safety seat technician, at 540-810-0527.
Now that the weather has finally cleared and the rain has stopped, Safety Sally decided to venture out and ride her bike on Dogwood Drive. An officer with the Harrisonburg Police Department was in the neighborhood and quickly spotted a safety violation! He took a moment to speak with Safety Sally and remind her of the importance of always wearing a bicycle helmet to prevent head and neck injuries. Safety Sally learned there is an ordinance in Harrisonburg that states all children under the age of 14 must wear a helmet when they are riding their bike on the street. Officers with HPD and members with the Central Shenandoah Valley Safe Kids Coalition are available to check a child's bike helmet to ensure it is the proper fit. Some roads in Harrisonburg have sharrows, which are markings on streets that are popular with bicyclists but may be too narrow for conventional bike lanes.
Yesterday evening, Safety Sally met up with her friend, Tommy Moose. Together, they found used needles and medication that were not properly disposed of. Safety Sally was just about to play doctor when Tommy Moose started second guessing their decisions. Those needing to use needles for medical reasons should always keep them out of the reach of children and dispose of the used sharps in a properly labeled and secured container. Speaking of needles, Safety Sally also reminded Tommy Moose that he still needed to get his annual flu shot from his local doctor or pharmacy.
Safety Sally arrived in Harrisonburg safe and sound. With the cold and gloomy weather, she tried to light a fire with matches to stay warm, while enjoying the scents of the season. When an adult spotted her, it was explained to her that it is never safe for children to play with matches. Unattended burning candles can also pose a significant fire hazard inside a residence or safety hazard for small children if the candle is pulled over. A safer option would be a flameless candle that uses an LED light.