Watch UR BAC Madisonville

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Last week’s fun Friday session featured two critical safety demonstrations that many children don’t have the luxury of experiencing until later in life.

Watch UR BAC and the Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition came to show the kids the proper way to ride in a vehicle as well as the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

“It’s important to get to the kids with this at an early age because you’re planting that seed,” said Cindy Kovar of Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition. “You’re letting them know what’s to be expected. We want to catch them before they’re tempted to make those poor decisions.

Kovar led a session on safety while driving in a vehicle. She spoke to the kids about the proper size they must be in order to safely ride without a booster seat. Most children were still in the range in which they needed the extra protection.

Kovar also highlighted the importance of wearing a seatbelt and demonstrated with a dummy and a makeshift front seat outside.

While Kovar taught safety behind the wheel, representatives from Watch UR BAC were inside teaching the kids about substances to avoid beforehand. Janet Stewart and Laura Mooney had the children gather in a circle around a rainbow parachute and asked what they wanted to be when they grew up.

The children were then handed colorful balls, which represented their “plans” in life. They put them on the parachute and raised it up then proceeded to aggressively wave the parachute upon instruction, causing the balls to fly all over the room. The idea was that you never know what can happen to your plans in life if your base is unstable.

“If you have drugs and alcohol as the center of your life and it’s your main purpose, your dreams will fly away,” said Mooney.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, through a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation, teaches Texans about the dangers of alcohol misuse. This includes binge drinking and alcohol poisoning as well as the dangers of impaired driving.

The program works with children as young as the ones from Fun Friday all the way to elderly people.

In 2016, 987 Texans were killed in alcohol-related crashes and tens of thousands were injured. Car accidents are the highest cause of death for everyone under the age of 25.

Contact Campbell Atkins at campbell.atkins@madisonvillemeteor.com

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