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11th Annual Community Safety Fair set for Saturday, September 10

While the 11th annual Community Safety Fair this Saturday, September 10 promises to deliver fun, its organizers are very serious about the event’s primary purpose: prevention.

Valley Health Winchester Medical Center and the Winchester Police Department are sponsoring the free safety awareness event from 10 am – 2 pm in Winchester’s Jim Barnett Park. More than 50 exhibitors, apparatus, and hands-on activities will engage young and old about safety issues, including bikes, boats, ATVs, extreme weather, distracted driving, unhealthy relationships and more.

“Prevention is always on our minds in emergency medicine,” says Lisa Wells, RN, WMC Trauma Nurse Director and chair of the event’s planning committee. “It’s hard to treat the victim of an ATV rollover, playground accident, accidental shooting or drowning and not think ‘why did this have to happen?’ Many of our patients learn the hard way. The safety fair is one way we reach out to offer the community an easier way to learn, without needless pain and loss,” says Wells.

Children who bring their bicycle can take a quick obstacle course ride with a WPD bike officer. Free bike helmets, courtesy of the WMC Foundation, will be fitted by Valley Health physical therapists. Quick thinking and good habits are reinforced through car safety seat checks, a distracted driving simulator, safety games, a Big Wheels ride through Safety Town, Frederick County Fire &Rescue’s storm trailer, friendly encounters with animals, and other activities. Adults will find practical information on preventing and handling problems at home or in the car, alcohol and drug use, and dating violence, as well as learn about local programs that assist victims and help enforce the law.

Another plus, say organizers, is the opportunity for fair-goers to interact positively with law enforcement, fire and rescue, medical personnel and other community experts in a fun, non-emergency setting. “We don’t want to only be seen during emergencies. We want to help prevent emergencies through outreach and education,” says committee member Det. William Griffith with the Winchester Police Department. “We look forward to this event each year and want our community to be safe and healthy.”

Other attractions include a bounce house, face painting, magic and balloon bending, free hot dogs, ice cream and water, and drawings for new children’s bikes.

The Community Safety Fair is generously supported by the Winchester Medical Center Foundation.

For more information, visit www.valleyhealthlink.com/safetyfair