Serving the community since 1922

Keeping kids safe with fun and education

The city's Code Compliance Division is thrilled to present a Summer Safety Event on Monday, June 17, at Barker Park for children ages 5 to 12. With a fresh twist on their traditional Bike Rodeo, this year's activities include fire and water safety education, along with bike raffles, bike repairs, swimming, lunch, snow cones, free helmets and information booths for a fun and interactive morning of learning how to stay smart and safe this summer.

"This year, we are incorporating fire and water safety, along with our typical bike safety education," Code Compliance Officer Christian Tovar said. "With our water education component, as the temperature rises and kiddos are out at pools, we want them to be aware of the dangers like knowing not to be running around a pool, knowing to have someone supervising them, not leaving younger siblings alone around the pool, not entering a pool without knowing how to swim or without floaties, not knowing their limitations when it comes to their swimming, all of this so they are not putting themselves at risk of drowning so that they can enjoy a cool off safely."

Some of the water education curricula that will be offered includes drowning prevention and the steps in the chain of drowning survival. "This is teaching them skills on what the chain of an emergency is, whether or not they know how to swim or know who to call in case of an emergency, that they are aware of water safety equipment that may be available to them, like a reaching pully, a ring buoy, a life jacket or a throwing bag."

Another exciting participant in the Summer Safety event is the Kern County Fire Department. They will conduct fire safety and sharing fire prevention strategies, proper fireworks use and information regarding illegal fireworks.

This year, there will be a bicycle obstacle course, a station teaching proper bike handling techniques and a helmet-fitting area. A highlight will be bike raffles and free helmets while supplies last. Bike Bakersfield will be doing bike repairs, such as fixing flat tires and chains, cog repairs and bike adjustments.

"The event will also have an open swim so they can bring out their bathing suits to cool off," Tovar said.

The Wasco Police Department will join with some of their vehicles on display for the kids to check out. Volunteers from the Wasco State Prison will help run the helmet-fitting station. Wasco Animal Control will offer free adoptions. The Bakersfield Police Department will bring their life-interrupted trailer, which illustrates the effects of drunk driving by showing a car hit by someone who has been drunk driving.

Tovar said a lot of information will be shared. "We're trying to have the kids leave with a basic knowledge to have a safe summer, to enjoy themselves, and to know that they are going to be safe. There will be information booths like Kern Family Health Care and California Rural Legal Assistance, providing different information to parents about tenant rights."

The event is possible through partnerships with Kern Family Health Care, AERA, California Rail Builders, Wasco Toys for Tigers and Bike Bakersfield.

Registration for the event starts at 9 a.m. at 1280 Poplar Ave. For more information, call Code Compliance Officers Christian Tovar at 661-758-7213 or Sergio Gonzalez at 661-758-7216.


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