Bike, water safety focus of health fest this weekend

  • Wednesday, May 14, 2014

This Saturday, Dorchester County EMS is teaming up with other local agencies to bring area families the Summer Safety Festival and fifth annual Water Safety Day.

The free health care event will focus on educating youth and their parents on safety when riding bikes and swimming.

“The water safety and the bike safety are the huge two parts that we’re trying to promote,” said EMS Lt. Megan White, who has been helping plan the event. “A lot of injuries and deaths, unfortunately, are for those two reasons.”

The DCEMS Bike Team, with help from the North Charleston Police and Charleston County EMS bike teams, will use a bicycle safety course to teach riders how to be safe when on their bikes. The training is designed for children who already know how to ride a bike, and families are encouraged to bring their own bicycles to the event.

Lt. White said EMS will also give away 300 new helmets for riders of all ages.

Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 45 percent, brain injury by 33 percent and fatal injury by 29 percent, according to statistics provided by EMS.

Because of BRAYDEN, an event co-sponsor, will be on site to teach attendees how to stay safe at the pool, beach and near other bodies of water.

Lt. White said it’s just as important the children are educated on safety as adults.

“Parents and kids are both not paying attention. … This is for kids and adults to both learn to be more observant and hopefully prevent and have less drowning and bike accidents.”

The Summer Safety Festival will also have information on heart attack and stroke prevention, basic health care screenings and health service vendors. Kids entertainment will include a rock climbing wall, jump castles, face painting and food vendors.

EMS partnered with Because of BRAYDEN, the MUSC Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Trident Area to put on the event.

“It’s definitely a great thing to get the community involved,” Lt. White said of the partnership. “MUSC, a lot of people go there, the same with Trident… they can reach people that we (EMS) can’t.

“We’re trying really just to help the community with their health and get everybody involved, and get them more involved with helping each other. We’re hoping it will spread.”

The Summer Safety Festival will take place this Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dorchester County Human Services Building, 500 N. Main Street.

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