The Dean and Barbara White Southlake YMCA was abuzz with activity on April 23, as more than 700 parents and children attended Safe Kids Day, a free event focused on celebrating kids, preventing injuries and saving lives.
The annual Safe Kids Day had not been held the two previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a welcome return for the event, which included safety demonstrations, educational opportunities, entertainment, snacks and giveaways. “This was the biggest event we’ve had for exhibitors,” said Marissa Adcock, Franciscan Health injury prevention coordinator. “In the past, we barely reached 25. So, we were blessed this year to have 38 organizations come and be a part of it.”
Along with the exhibitors, kids were able to dance to an interactive concert of music and movement with ROCKIN’ with Leonardo. BeeGIGGLES provided face painting, temporary tattoos, glitter tattoos, and balloon twisting. Two furry mascots, Rusty from the Gary SouthShore RailCats and the Chick-fil-A Cow, greeted visitors.
Safety demonstrations included bicycle and helmet safety with distribution of free helmets, child passenger safety, cyber safety, fire safety, first-aid, home safety, medication safety, pedestrian safety, pet safety and water safety. Representatives of Franciscan Physician Network answered pediatric healthcare questions and helped kids play a giant operating game. A giant, inflatable Mega Lung displayed information on lung health, while nearby, kids could see a video on the dangers of vaping. Meanwhile, parents and grandparents could sign up for the Franciscan Health Heart, Lung and AAA screening program.
“This event is made by a lot of great community partners who care about making a difference. As the name says, Safe Kids Day is about keeping kids safe,” said Franciscan Health Foundation Executive Director Rick Peltier. “To see this turnout and the interest in the event, it makes it worth it.”
The Safe Kids Day event is a project of Safe Kids Northwest Indiana. The event was sponsored by Franciscan Health Crown Point, Southlake YMCA, the Crown Point Community Foundation, NIPSCO and Cleveland-Cliffs.