Sunday cartoon: No matches or lighters for kids


BURRILLVILLE – With the summer season now underway, there will be more outdoor activities happening that involve campfires, open flames, fire pits and barbecues.

Adults will be lighting these fires with matches and lighters. Children watch what adults are doing at any given time of day. They also like to copy what adults are doing. It is extremely important that adults keep matches and lighters far away from children.

The 4th of July holiday is this week and there will be numerous individuals and families hosting barbecues and festivities that also includes fireworks. Children will be around a lot of fireworks, open flames and grills over the next week. Kids must not be anywhere near fireworks and stay at least three feet away from flames and hot grills. Matches and lighters must be out-of-reach and safely secured where kids cannot find them. The Fearless Dino Protector Squad firefighter dinosaurs, with firefighting apparatus tails, verses fire character villains, has been teaching kids about fire safety and burn prevention for more than two decades.

Fire departments across the region, as well as nationwide, utilize these popular fire safety and burn prevention coloring cartoons as handouts at fire department community safety events and musters, barbecues, open houses and distribution into grade schools every year in an effort to remind kids about a wide variety of fire hazards and dangers and how to avoid and prevent them from happening. The Rhode Island State Fire Marshals Office distributed 10,000, “Safe School, Safe You,” coloring books to students in middle schools across the state of Rhode Island reminding them about fire safety, anti-smoking, pulling false alarms, school spirit, anti-bullying, setting fires, playing with matches and lighters, along with other positive messages, in order to help prevent unintentional injuries and potentially save lives in schools and homes. I published this coloring book at the request of the Rhode Island State Fire Marshals Office.

Please remember to watch your children around fireworks, open flames, hot grills and keep all matches and lighters out-of-reach. Have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday.

Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. Weicherding contributes kids’ coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children. He has a long list of police officers and firefighters in his family and has worked with law enforcement and firefighters in a creative public safety capacity for more than two decades.

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