Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Puppet show teaches preschoolers about fire prevention

By  | 

This week is National Fire Prevention Week.

For more than 30 years, Avera McKennan and Sioux Falls Fire Rescue have helped educate preschoolers in our community about burn prevention through a fun and interactive puppet show.

“So often times when you have songs to teach kids concepts, those little songs stick in their little heads and that helps them remember these important safety concepts,” said Doniese Wilcox, certified family educator at Avera McKennan.

“We go over three things. We go over stop, drop and roll, don’t play with matches, and then temperature of your bath water. We do something with some water guns later on in the snow. They love it. They get into it. They interact with it and that’s how I think how they remember it all,” said Tyler Tjeerdsma, fire inspector with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.

Tjeerdsma says he loves teaching kids the importance of fire safety.

“We actually bring our gear in and one of us will actually dress up in full uniform.The kids just love that and it helps them so that they’re not scared. So if they ever are in a situation and they do see us, they’re not scared of us,” said Tjeerdsma

“Every fall for the last 31 Years, we’ve had buses and vans full of little kiddos coming down to the Washington Pavilion for a puppet show,” said Wilcox.

“It’s just so important those kids know to get low, get below that smoke and those hot gases and check that door for heat and just have two ways out. If you can’t get out that door, know how to open your window and what to do if you are on the second floor -- how to throw things out of your window so it gets a fireman’s attention,” said Tjeerdsma

The other goal of the puppet show is to start a conversation between the kids and their parents about what their family’s fire escape plan is and to check their smoke detectors.

For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.