16th Annual Rural Health and Safety Day Draws Hundreds

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“Each year we try to morph it based on what we see going on in the community,” Melissa Sentiff, Coordinator of Bradford/Sullivan County Safe Kids Coalition said.

Nearly 500 fifth graders from throughout the Northern Tier attended this year’s 16th annual Rural Health and Safety Day, aimed at addressing issues that the children in our area face everyday.

“One of the things we see is different childhood accidents, of course one is too many, so anything we can see that we can get out and do prevention on is essential and important to us,” Guthrie Trauma Resource Nurse Melissa Ross said.

Everything from bike and ATV safety, to firearm safety…volunteers from across the county stood ready to educate students and answer questions at nine different stations set up for Wednesday’s event.

“ATV safety is something that we cover, we talk to the kids about correct clothing they should wear to ride them, correct helmet size, obviously always having a helmet is huge, so that has helped with some of our injuries because of concussions and different things like that,” Guthrie Trauma Resource Nurse Melissa Ross said.

“Everyday in the news you turn on the TV and there’s something that happened with firearms, either an accident or that firearm was mishandled and the tragedy and stuff that happens so we try to prevent any of that from happening at an early age,” Wildlife Conservation Officer Blake Barth said.

One of the stations tackled a widespread issue in our area and aimed at helping kids make good choices regarding drugs and alcohol.

“We do addiction awareness but we also really focus on making choices, helping kids to make choices, trying to make them understand that making choices now will affect their future,” Bradford/Sullivan County Prevention Specialist Lorie Radney said.

With so many safety topics to cover, organizers say the event is a community effort.

“There’s so many different organizations represented here from Bradford County all volunteering for a great cause obviously,” Guthrie Trauma Resource Nurse Melissa Ross said.

Organizers of Rural Health and Safety Day say at 500 students, this is the most attended year to date, and they are hoping to make next year’s event even bigger. 

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