By Tim Leeds
KG elementary and high school students had some new classes Tuesday in the first KG Safety Fair.
The elementary students rotated through different safety exhibits in the morning and the high school students went through in the afternoon.
Hill County Electric demonstrated effects of electricity and safety issues at their mobile safety trailer, the Montana Highway Patrol demonstrated the Seat Belt Convincer, the fire department had a fire truck displayed and discussed safety issues, the Big Sky Chapter of Farm Safety for Just Kids tested reaction times and the damage that could happen on various equipment, bicycle safety was discussed, a station was set up to practice and discuss making 9-1-1 calls and BNSF showed videos on and discussed railroad safety.
At the electrical safety display the students were shown what could happen with a 7,200 volt power line, the standard voltage of a city line. They were shown how tree branches, kite strings and modern automobile tires can conduct electricity, showed the effects of 7,200 volts on an orange and a hot dog, and showed the safety equipment and practices required by the power company. The students were warned of the care needed around power lines.
The Seat Belt Convincer showed the impact of a dead stop at about 7 miles per hour. The students were asked to imagine what it would be like at 70 mph. They were told that many fatalities would be only injuries if seat belts had been worn, and that many serious injuries would be minor or even prevented with a seat belt.
The students practiced making emergency calls and giving information and addresses at the 9-1-1 station.
Basic bicycle care and safety was taught at the bicycle station.
Safety at and near railroad tracks was shown to the students at the BNSF station. KG Parent/Teacher/Student Association member Sue Berg said the nearness of tracks at Hi-Line towns often relaxes youngster's safety. She said children often crawl under idling trains as a shortcut instead of going to a safe crossing.
Berg said she hoped this and other displays at the fair will help instill care and safety in the school's students.
Arlys Williams of Farm Safety for Just Kids said most youngsters don't realize how little time it takes for a serious injury to occur. She showed how in just .4 seconds both arms could be pulled into a bailer to the shoulders. She said even this test can be misleading because the people are concentrating on the reaction time. In a real work situation, she said, most people aren't concentrating completely on the task, and distractions will slow reaction time further.
Williams said that many parents take safety for granted and don't emphasize the precautions and care that they use automatically. She said one need is to teach adults how to teach safety to the children.
The KG PTSA arranged to have the safety fair. Berg said that accidents and risk behavior happen frequently on the Hi-Line, and the group decided to start the fair to increase understandings of safety needs in the students.