Community Safety Day held Oct. 1

Beverly-Center held its annual Community Safety Day on Oct. 1. From younger students trying to ‘sound out’ SPF, to older students trying to determine the capacity of a glass or cup to determine sugar content, to the oldest students learning the dangers of smokeless tobacco there were safety lessons for everyone. Eight stations were set up throughout the day and classes rotated through each one to learn how to stay safe and healthy with the help of several community agencies and volunteers.

Safety during upcoming Trick-or-Treat nights was addressed with the warning, “If it looks funny, don’t eat it.” Students were cautioned to carve their pumpkins with care. When in costume, they should be sure they can see clearly and be sure other people can see you. They were encouraged to stay in their own neighborhood when trick-or-treating and to look at their treats carefully before eating. If fresh fruit is given as a treat, students were encouraged to cut it in half before eating it.

Jim Ullman and Josh Kasun represented the Beverly-Waterford fire department. Josh modeled the turnout gear a firefighter wears – all 75 pounds of it! It is for the firefighter’s protection and visibility during a fire, keeping all their skin covered.

During a fire, temperatures can reach over 1000 degrees, while on the floor it can be just 100 degrees or less, so stay low during a fire. A firefighter may sound like Darth Vader to someone trapped in a fire, but firefighters are there to help! Students were then given a chance to tour the fire truck and the ever-popular chance to spray the fire hose!

Amber Peck from the OSU Extension office presented nutrition information.

She wanted kids to start being ‘savvy’ when reading food labels. She reminded students to consider ‘servings per container’ when looking at labels, especially those on drink bottles. Students were stunned to realize how different shaped containers can still hold the same amount of liquid, and how those ‘six packets of sugar per serving’ multiply when the entire bottle is consumed and the amount of sugar doubles or triples! She encouraged caution when consuming energy drinks – which contain caffeine – and sports drinks – which can contain a lot of sugar. Children’s brains are still growing, so water should be seriously considered as their drink of choice.

Sun safety was addressed by Beth Lewis and Joanna Lupardis representing Strecker Cancer Center. The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and students were encouraged to wear a hat, sunglasses, and, most importantly, sunscreen when being out in the sun. Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher should be applied 15-30 min. before going out into the sun and should be reapplied every 2 hours. Students were also reminded they can still bet a sunburn on a cloudy day. A four word slogan was passed along to end this session: SLIP (on a shirt), SLOP (on the sunscreen), SLAP (on a hat), and WRAP (their wyes with sunglasses).

Bob Kubota, Julie Heiss, and D’Nice Black representing the Lowell and Beverly squads gave students the opportunity to experience various stabilizing equipment they may encounter and what to expect in an emergency squad.

A lot of hands-on experiences had the kids giggling as one after another was lifted on the backboard or outfitted with arm and neck stabilizers.

Stephanie Davis presented the dangers of cigarette smoking and tobacco usage.

She shared the illnesses and body changes that occur with continued use of any tobacco products – for example, it takes 6 seconds for nicotine to go from the tip of the nose to the bottom of the toes. Bad teeth, blood pressure, vision, diabetes, and leukemia all present issues caused by tobacco usage.

Officer Aaron Perine from the Beverly Police Department talked to students about strangers. Strangers come in all ages, shapes, and sizes. Anyone you’ve never seen or don’t know is considered a stranger. The newest kind of stranger is a cyber stranger. These strangers have developed the ability to hack into accounts and create all kinds of havoc. Students were urged to be smart and realize if an online ‘friend’ says not to tell, it’s probably a bad idea. YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and other types of social media are a danger since it lets strangers learn too much about the user. Students were encouraged to always travel outside with a friend and to establish a secret ‘safe phrase’ that only they and family members know so a stranger can’t take advantage.

A food safety video taught students how to fight bacteria and keep the foods they eat safe for them. They learned to CLEAN the food before eating.

Next, food should be SEPARATED to avoid cross-contamination between fruits and vegetables and raw meats. When COOKing, remember bacteria can’t stand heat so they should always be sure meat is well done, especially in the middle. When meals are done, CHILL the fool. When cold foods get warm, bacterial grows and spoils food.

The Beverly Police Department finished the afternoon meeting with students to discuss cyber-bullying and the ALICE program during an emergency – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.


Sue Sampson is a longtime columnist for the Parkersburg News & Sentinel.