Safe Start is a course developed and funded by Safe Kids Worldwide, its partners, and, locally, by the Safe Kids Cherokee County organization.
The classroom program was created for 3- to 6-year-olds to reduce the number of house-fire and burn injuries to preschool children, who are at the greatest risk of injury and death, program leaders said.
The program not only teaches the preschoolers about burn and fire safety, but also includes the parents and extended families of the children.
In July, teachers and owners of local child care locations in the county were visited by Sgt. Babette Davis, fire and safety educator, and asked to participate in the Safe Start Fire and Burn Safety Program.
The program provides lesson plans, interactive activity opportunities, songs and hands-on learning to preschoolers and their parents.
Going out to the large population of preschoolers allowed Davis to personally inform and invite the child care professionals to obtain this new teaching strategy in an effort to save more lives and avoid future injuries.
Capt. Chad Arp, senior fire safety educator, and Davis with the Cherokee County Fire Marshal’s Office, along with George Williams of the Woodstock Fire and Rescue Department, taught the five-hour class to early childhood teachers from all over Cherokee County.
Involving parents, teachers and children, along with local firefighters, can give all involved a stronger sense of knowledge and safety and help reduce the fear of reaction and response time if a fire were to occur, program leaders said.