WATSONTOWN — When learning to drive a car, individuals are taught the importance of looking left, right and left again before pulling from an intersection.

A similar concept was among a number of safety tips being taught this week to pre-school age children who attend programming offered by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) at the former Watsontown Elementary School building.

Members of Safe Kids Pennsylvania Susquehanna Valley Partners presented a variety of road and rail safety tips to children and their parents.

“Hopefully we can empower kids to be safe and keep their friends and family safe,” Judy Egly, a registered nurse with the Geisinger Health System and one of the program presenters, said.

As Egly presented games to children which focused on teaching safety tips, Mike Diehl provided a number of tips to parents. Diehl is the Community Traffic Safety Program coordinator with the Highway Safety Network.

Each year, Diehl said he presents about 100 programs to children and their parents in a nine-county area.

“The main goal is to have the parents and children learn something they didn’t know, and take that information and learn to use it and be safe,” he said.

Diehl focused his remarks on teaching parents to be safe on the roadways and near railroad tracks. He also presented information so parents would know the proper type of car seat to use for their children, based on the laws, and the child’s age, height and other factors.

A doll — the size of a toddler — that was strapped in a car seat was among the props used during the program.

“We have a 3 year old strapped in a car seat,” Egly said, while pointing to the doll. “We can talk about making sure the straps are tight.”

She also explained other activities offered during the evening.

“We will do a pedestrian safety game,” Egly said, prior to the start of the program. “We will teach (children) to look left, right and left again before crossing the street… and to always cross with an adult.”

She said children often continue teaching adults tips they learn at programs like the one offered Tuesday in Watsontown.

“I think the kids enjoy it,” Egly said. “It’s reminding them of these things to be doing all the time… The kids sometimes are the ones leading the way.”

Diehl noted that he often works with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Safety Press officer to present programs like the one offered Tuesday in Watsontown.

“A lot of the programs that we do, I have to give credit to CSIU,” he said. “They have been key in getting us into these programs.”

For a variety of safety tips, including car seat safety, visit safekids.org.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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