IT WAS high fives for road safety at Sebastopol West Kindergarten yesterday when SeeMore Safety dropped in to help students be safe near the road.
Risk assessment is a big phrase for pre-schoolers, but that is exactly the skill they learned from the oversized mascot.
SeeMore, the mascot of KIDS Foundation, showed students how to behave safely when walking near the road and how to identify and avoid hazards and dangerous situations.
“We have been doing road safety and safety within the community, talking about what’s safe and unsafe about crossing roads,” said kinder teacher Nicole Undy.
The knowledge would be vital to helping children stay safe on the walking excursions they frequently go on from the kinder.
KIDS Foundation educator Michelle McCahon said research had shown that characters helped get the message across to young children, and this was consolidated using books, cards and actions.
“He shares the message with them and reassures them what they need to know and what they need to say to stay safe,” she said.
Children then typically share the knowledge with their families at home, widening the circle of safety.
The KIDS Foundation tests the safety knowledge of children before and after the program, with is taught by kinder teachers throughout the year with an occasional visit from SeeMore himself.
“What the research says it they are taking the message on board and taking it home,” Ms McCahon said.
Students from Sebastopol West will have extra incentive to talk safety at home with SeeMore leaving a miniature version of himself at the kinder. Children will take the toy home, in turn, and fill in a journal about SeeMore’s time at their house and safety as he goes out and about with families.
KIDS Foundation educates students about community safety in general, not just road safety.
“Every day in Australia, 5000 children are injured and 100 are hospitalised as the result of accidents. Through the KIDS mascot SeeMore Safety and our compilation of safety books, we take children on a journey that focuses on lifelong safety,” Ms McCahon said.