BURRILLVILLE – Happy New Year everyone!
It may seem a little strange to most of you reading this article while printing out this kids safety coloring cartoon for your child the first week of January, but you must admit, the weather is far from a winter wonderland for us right now. With temperatures reaching the 50s and 60s being forecasted for the upcoming week, I’m sure many kids and teenagers will be outside participating in wheeled sports activities after receiving bikes, rollerblades and skateboards for Christmas this holiday season. The recent warmer than usual temperatures and sunny skies have already attracted these kids and teenagers outdoors.
In my recent travels, I have spotted many kids riding skateboards on streets and in busy parking lots. The skateboard park located in Burrillville has seen an uptick in these types of activities –and that’s a good thing. It’s great to see kids at a skateboard park, and not in streets or parking lots.
It is also extremely important to remind kids and teenagers to also wear a protective helmet in case of a fall, or unexpected mishap, while riding bikes, rollerblading or skateboarding. It’s much better to be safe than sorry. I would also strongly suggest kids and teens wear protective elbow and knee pads to avoid cuts, scrapes and bruises caused by falls off of wheeled sports items, especially any child or teen just learning for the first time. Professional wheeled sports athletes wear helmets and protective gear to help keep them safer.
I was the safety creative director for three consecutive years with the Gravity Games events hosted in Providence for NBC, the Providence Public Safety commissioner, Providence Police and Fire Departments, the Rhode Island State Police and the RI Governor’s Highway Safety Department. I was commissioned to develop and create safety coloring posters, coloring books, full color posters, stickers and fridge magnets for distribution at all of their events to kids and teenagers. These safety products were also passed out to kids in grade schools, libraries and community centers by police officers and firefighters. Hasbro Children’s Hospital also distributed these child safety products and coloring formats to kids and families in their emergency room reminding everyone about wheeled sports safety. The wheeled sports safety banners I created were displayed throughout the event grounds, city parks and playgrounds in the city of Providence and surrounding cities hoping to keep kids and teenagers safer while participating in wheeled sports activities. Dozens of media groups, businesses and organizations throughout the state supported, partnered and sponsored these safety handouts reminding youth and families to be safer.
Enjoy the nice weather and have a safe and happy New Year from all of us at NRI NOW.
Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. Weicherding contributes kids’ coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children. He has a long list of police officers and firefighters in his family and has worked with law enforcement and firefighters in a creative public safety capacity for more than two decades.