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Free Safe Kids KitsAre Available



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Free Safe Kids Kits

Are Available

By Kaaren Valenta

Safe Kids Kits, handy thermal-type bags filled with items to protect the safety of infants and young children, are being made available free from the St Rose Parish Ministry through a grant from Union Savings Bank.

They are available to mothers who live in Newtown and have infants or children under the age of five.

Sally O’Neil, coordinator of the Parish Nurse Ministry, said the idea for the Safe Kids Kits came from another parish nurse, Sally Jacko, who works at Harlem Hospital.

“She found out about them and helped me to write a grant proposal,” Ms O’Neil said. “The kits are $22 each and Union Savings Bank gave us $3,600 so we could obtain 150 kids and some additional supplies to put in them.”

The bag, which can be reused as a lunch or diaper bag, is filled with useful objects and information. The items include a smoke alarm; cabinet locks and outlet plugs to protect inquisitive toddlers; and a soft spout cover for the bathtub faucet and a bath thermometer to prevent scalding. There is a window guard disk that shows how far a window can safely be opened without risk of a child falling out, and a choking hazard tube that shows if a toy or other item is small enough to pose a risk for an infant or toddler.

“If something can fit into the tube, a child can choke on it,” Ms O’Neil explained, demonstrating how the device works.

There are refrigerator magnets with Safe at Home tips and telephone numbers to reach the Ask a Nurse program at St Vincent’s Hospital and the Birth to Three agency.

“We’ve included a brochure about what to expect from your child up to age three, and a number to call if the child is not developing according to expectations,” Ms O’Neil said.

There is information about Lyme disease, including a wallet-size information card; brochures on “101 Ways to Praise a Child,” and tips for motorists and cyclists. The poison control center number is included on a sticker to put on or next to the telephone. Kits that go to members of St Rose parish also will include information about the Elizabeth Ministry.

The kits are free but there is a requirement.

“We have to explain the contents of the kit to the mother and she has to agree that we can call her in six months to find out how they were used and if they were useful,” Ms O’Neil said.

The kits were created by the Injury Free Coalition for Kids and sponsored by the All State Foundation.

To obtain a kit, call the Parish Nurse Ministry office, 426-2573, and leave a message with your name and telephone number or stop by the Parish Nurse office on the first floor of the parish center (the brick building next to St Rose School on Church Hill Road).

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