Safety is the word of the day at Oregon Zoo

Zoo teams up with Safe Kids Portland Metro to educate kids, families on safe play

Sunshine, smiles, snacks and swimming are a few of many words starting with “s” that summer brings to mind. The Oregon Zoo and Safe Kids Portland Metro want to add safety to that list. On May 5, Oregon Safe Kids Day at the zoo will provide parents, caregivers and children the opportunity to learn about safety through interactive exhibits, prizes, safety tips and hands-on activities.
 
“Oregon is famous for its summer recreational opportunities, and we want children to have a safe and active summer,” said Krista Swan, zoo event coordinator. “We’re partnering with our local Safe Kids coalition again this year because they present critical childhood safety information in a way that is fun and engaging for the kids.”
 
This year’s theme is “Play Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe.” Exhibits and activities will focus on taking simple steps to prevent injuries this summer, like wearing bicycle helmets and life jackets, and emphasizing the need for constant supervision of children around water.
 
A dozen safety stations around the zoo will comprise a “safety safari.” Stations will provide tips on water, poison, transportation, helmet and fire safety. Everyone who completes the safari will receive a safety-related prize.
 
At the water safety station, kids will learn the importance of wearing life jackets around rivers and streams. Ocean safety will also be touched upon, as kids learn about the dangers of sneaker waves and logs, and why they should always keep an eye on the ocean.
 
Each summer, more than 2,500 children across the U.S. die from preventable injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes, drowning, bike crashes, pedestrian incidents, falls and other hazards. These tragedies peak during the summer when children are often under less supervision, have more free time and engage in more outdoor activities.
 
Oregon Safe Kids Day at the zoo takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free with regular zoo admission.
 
Safe Kids Portland Metro — a local coalition of more than 20 injury-prevention partners led by American Medical Response — is part of Safe Kids USA, which is dedicated to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury. Communities throughout Oregon have planned safety events during the spring and summer. For more information about the Safe Kids program, visit www.safekidsoregon.org. Parents can also sign up for monthly safely updates at www.safekids.org/parents.
 
Safe Kids Portland Metro has been helping kids in Portland for the past 18 years. Coalition partners include: American Medical Response, Portland Fire Bureau, ACTS Oregon, Clackamas County Safe Communities, ODOT, Oregon Poison Center, Legacy Health Systems, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Oregon Health Authority, and area fire and police departments. Locally, AMR provides ambulance services in Multnomah, Clackamas and Clark counties. AMR and its predecessor companies have served Portland area communities since 1913.