Fair celebrates 21 years of kid safety

Think you know all there is to know about washing germs off your hands? Stick them under Scrub Club’s black light at Saturday’s 21st annual Safe Kids Fair and see how much you really know.
That and more activities, information and special guests will be available in the Homer High School commons from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with a bicycle rodeo in the school’s parking lots from 10 a.m.-noon. The fair is sponsored by Safe Kids Coalition, comprised of agencies and nonprofits promoting child safety.
Prizes are awarded throughout the fair, with a bicycle and a tricycle the big prizes of the day. To enter in the drawings, youngsters age 0-14 simply have to visit the number of booths at the fair equal to their age and, once done, they can enter their names for a chance to win. The bicycle and tricycle are donated by Seldovia Village Tribe and The Center.
A shelter box will be on display, compliments of Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary. Originally designed in the United Kingdom, shelter boxes contain all the essentials — shelter, water purification systems, a stove, tools, and more — for a family of 10 to survive following a disaster.
“And of course we have Eddie Eagle talking about gun safety, Safety Seal talking about water safety, wearing life jackets and different water safety tips, and Booster Chicken from Public Health who is all about immunizations,” said Jackie Thaute, who has helped coordinate the fair for more than 10 years.
Coastie, a guest brought by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, will talk to youngsters about being safe on the water around Kachemak Bay, what to do and not to do and the importance of wearing life jackets.
Those special guests have proven popular at past fairs and are happy to be back again this year.
The Teddy Bear Clinic has proven another crowd-pleaser.
“It’s a great spot for kids to come and bond with a teddy bear and pretty much learn what it would be like if you have to go to the emergency room or the doctor’s office,” said Derotha Ferraro, South Peninsula Hospital spokesperson. “The types of things that happen you get to do with a teddy bear like checking blood pressure, bandages and ice packs.”
Speaking of emergencies, youngsters will have an opportunity to actually dial 911 and speak to a dispatcher, thanks to Kachemak Emergency Services. A demonstration using raw eggs to represent passengers highlights the importance of using seatbelts. Vision screening and hearing tests will be offered. Homer Animal Friends will give tips for avoiding dog bites. HoWL, Homer Wilderness Leaders, will address bear safety.  
“Seldovia Village Tribe is doing a booth to help kids understand what they’re drinking when they drink those energy drinks,” said Ferraro. “They have visuals on exactly how much sugar and other products are in the more popular energy drinks so kids can have a really good visual of what that means.”
While all this is happening inside the school, a bicycle rodeo will take place in the parking lot, thanks to the Homer Volunteer Fire Department.
“Kids bring their bicycles and get a safety check,” said Ferraro. Helmets are required, but also can be purchased at the rodeo.
“And then they have a little course they ride through to make sure they’re using your bike correctly and that it fits them,” she said.
With Paul Banks Elementary School PTA’s summer activity fair on Friday from 5-6:30 p.m., the Safe Kids Fair is another opportunity for youngsters and parents to learn more about and register for summer activities in the area. Among those represented at the Safe Kids Fair will be Pop Warner football, Little League and Kachemak Swim Club.
“The Safe Kids Fair is just a really low-key, relaxed, fun environment for kids and adults to learn more about how to make homes and play safe,” said Ferraro. “You’ve got to be safe in both environments and this is about both.”
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.


21st annual Safe Kids Fair
Sponsored by the SafeKids Coalition Location:
Homer High School Commons
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday

Bicycle Rodeo
Homer High School parking lot
10 a.m.-noon, Saturday
Helmets required and available for purchase
More than 20 information booths
Hands-on activities
Special guests:
• Booster Chicken
• Coastie
• Eddie Eagle
• Safety Seal
• Smokey Bear
Prizes throughout the day.
Grand prize: bicycle and tricycle