Practice makes perfect when it comes to safety

Right arm . . . Road Safety Southland road user safety advisor Maureen Deuchrass and children taking part in the Clued Up Kids Day (from left) Riley Clarke (11), Marni Moody, Serinity Jones, Ella Hammond (all 10), Chanel Johnston (10, obscurred) , Aydon Shuttleworth (11) and Casey Morrison (11) holding the bicycle practise the arm signal they will use when out on their bicycles to show motorists they are stopping. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Building bivouacs and experiencing what it is like to be in an earthquake were some of the activities on offer for Eastern and Northern Southland pupils last week.

About 140 year 5 and 6 pupils took part in the Clued Up Kids day at the Gore Town & Country Club.

It was the fourth time the event had been held.

Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley, of Gore, said the event reinforced safety messages for children.

The children spent 10 minutes at each of eight stations to run through ‘‘safety messages and emergency procedures and practise some of the skills that the kids have already been educated about’’.

‘‘It’s a cool event.’’

The strength of the day was it pulled all the emergency groups under one roof, Snr Sgt Fairley said.

‘‘It’s a one-stop shop so we can really reiterate those messages and get the kids thinking.’’

Hokonui St John staff showed children how to give CPR and Fire and Emergency New Zealand provided fire safety messages through a tunnel maze.

‘‘They’re actually learning by doing — embedding some of those messages that will keep them safe and keep their family and whanau safe,’’ Snr Sgt Fairley said.

An earthquake simulator gave children an opportunity to experience what an earthquake felt like and how to protect themselves.

Road Safety Southland road user safety adviser Maureen Deuchrass talked to the children about how to be safe when riding their bicycles on the road.

A Head Injury Society of Southland representative discussed the effects of concussion.

There were also goggles which made the wearer feel as if they had the symptoms of concussion. Land Search and Rescue volunteers gave pupils a chance to make a bivouac with a tarpaulin.

Pupils also took part in breathing exercises and calming techniques to learn how to remain relaxed during emergency situations.

‘‘Hopefully they will take some of the messages home for their younger siblings and mum and dad.’’

Each school was given a pack to be taken home with safety messages and resources, she said.