Do you know how to most effectively remove a stinger after a bee sting? How about who to call before you dig a trench in your yard? Can you spot the difference between a red hot and Sudafed? These are some of the interesting, yet necessary topics covered at the Lea County Extension Safety Days.

Safety Days are the result of many hours of planning and community organizations coming together to volunteer their time to educate our children on how to be safe and live healthier lives in their everyday environments.

The safety topics covered this year were:

  • Underground utilities/8-1-1 to dig
  • Chemical safety
  • First aid
  • 9-1-1
  • Bully prevention
  • Gas line safety
  • Home alone/stranger danger
  • Water safety
  • Bike safety
  • Electric safety

Each safety station has 15 minutes to present on their topic. In some instances the children are able to practice these skills in real time. For example, some children are given the opportunity to call 911 and report an accident scenario. It was interesting to see how nervous they became once the 911 operator answered the call. The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate how scary it can be to answer those questions in an emergency situation. In other presentations there were opportunities to identify, touch, and see real life examples of safety hazards or protective gear. Overall the students are attentive and engaged, eager to provide examples, and ask questions during the presentations.

The JF Maddox Foundation has partnered with the New Mexico State University Lea County Extension office since 2007. For over a decade our children have been empowered to make more informed decisions regarding safety awareness as a result of Safety Days. This year’s Safety Days took place on October 18 & 19 at the Lea County Event Center with over 1,000 third-grade students in attendance and over 50 volunteers. This event is a great example of our community thinking big in order to improve the quality of life for future generations.