Lessons in kids safety

Safe Kids of Hennepin County, a program provided through Hennepin County Medical Center, demonstrated vehicle safety tips to kids and their families from Brooklyn Center Cub Scouts Pack 454 at Luther Brookdale Chevrolet last week.

The scouts earned their Automotive Safety Patch for participating in the program, which focused on tips about using safety belts and booster seats, and preventing injuries caused by children playing in and around vehicles.

Volunteers from the Rasmussen College Licensed Nurse Practitioner program assisted the Cub Scouts as they visited four stations with a different vehicle safety lesson. Outside was “Spot the Tot,” which demonstrated how far a child should be from a vehicle in order for a driver to see them while backing up.

The scouts also tried booster seats to learn about safety belts.

Booster seats may be needed for children up to age 12 to ensure an adult size safety belt will fit across their shoulders and lap, according to Safe Kids of Hennepin County Coordinator Julie Philbrook. There is a five-step test parents may use to determine if their child needs a booster seat:

• Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?

• Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the end of the auto seat?

• Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?

• Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?

• Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

There are seven local chapters of Safe Kids Minnesota, including Hennepin County. They also host child car seat clinics, water safety awareness programs and provide low-cost bike helmets as well as support for improved child safety legislation.

Info: minnesotasafetycouncil.org