SPRINGFIELD — It was a packed showroom at Autoland in Springfield full of 59 young Cub Scouts from Westfield Pack 172 along with their den leaders and many family members. The dens, with boys aged 6-10, filled the seats and eagerly waited their turn to rotate through several stations to earn their automotive safety patch.
Mark Montenero, president of Autoland of Springfield, hosted Children’s Specialized Hospital’s Safe Kids Union County Cub Scout Automotive Safety Patch Program on Oct. 18. Montenero provided the use of his showroom, vehicles, tables and chairs, pizza and refreshments and stuff bags for all in attendance.
Cub Scouts rotated through several auto-safety stations including:
- In and Around Cars : “Spot the Tot” a safety exercise to inform scouts and parents about vehicle blind spots and avoiding dangerous places to play.
- Never Leave Your Child Alone: A reminder to parents and kids to never leave children unattended in a parked car. Excessive heat can be deadly in minutes and the Cub Scouts got to briefly experience 106 degrees inside a car.
- Safety Belt Fit Test: the Cub Scouts were measured and fitted for correct seat belt and booster seat use. Children are usually ready for the adult seatbelt when they are 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years old.
- Trunk Entrapment: Children were taught never to play in a car’s trunk and that in case they are ever entrapped, newer cars are equipped with a glow in the dark release handle or escape through the back seat.
- Distracted Driving: Children learned how they could keep from distracting their parents while driving and how dangerous it is when driver attention is diverted to other tasks like cell phone calls and text messages.
Safe Kids is a world wide organization dedicated to preventing unintentional injury in children by bringing together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. Keeping children safe is an investment — in their lives and in the future of our world. With education, resources and better laws to protect our children, we are making a difference.
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