Welcome to the Sheriff's Safety Town Resource Guide

As an educator, you work hard to help children prepare for a bright and challenging future. But if we don't teach our children how to avoid preventable injury and death, many simply won't realize their potential.

Each year, unintentional injuries kill and disable more children than kidnapping, drugs, and disease combined - making them the No. 1 health risk facing school--age children today.

A few bumps and bruises are unavoidable. But most serious injuries are not inevitable. Traffic injuries, fires, scald burns, poisonings and serious biking injuries are not random "accidents" - they are preventable. With education, motivation, and the support of caring adults, children can learn to be much safer.

Our reason for Sheriff's Safety Town is that unintentional injury is the leading killer of children ages 1 to 14 in Louisiana. In 2000, 2,686 children age 14 and under died from unintentional injuries. That same year, unintentional injuries resulted in 228,000 hospitalizations, more than 1.6 million visits to outpatient departments and more than 13.5 million visits to physicians' offices. It is estimated that as many as 90% of unintentional injuries can be prevented.

A study by Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health showed a significant improvement in safety test scores among children who attended a children's safety village in Maryland. Among parents, 70% reported that their children learned a great deal and 33% reported having made changes at home as a result. The study concluded that the safety curriculum had a positive impact on children's knowledge and parents' safety practices.

Plus, we think it will be fun. The activities combine education and imagination to help children acquire lifesaving skills. They practice making safer choices, resisting peer pressure to take dangerous chances, and influencing family members and others around them to take action to reduce risks.

Each module includes teaching content that provides the basic injury prevention information you will need to present. Then there are activities provided that extend the lesson and make learning fun. You can choose any or all of the activities.

Each student will receive a folder containing a journal in which they can record thoughts, ideas, and stories. This provides an excellent opportunity to integrate a whole-language program into the experience. Upon completion of the Safety Town program, each child will take their folder, including their activities, home to their parents. This allows each child to share their experience while providing their parents with an opportunity to reinforce these lessons at home.

How much time is required? This program may be structured at your discretion. We just ask that you cover all modules prior to your scheduled field trip at Sheriff's Safety Town. It is recommended that you plan to teach this information not more than two weeks before your field trip. That way, the children will get the optimum learning experience in the town itself, reinforcing all the information they learned. Between the bicycles and the motorized cars, the children can't wait to get out there and don't want to have to spend additional time in the classroom.