National Safety Day draws community together at Kmart

LIHU‘E — Even when people follow the instructions, many install infant car seats improperly, said a Kaua‘i Police Department officer who was assigned to inspect keiki seats, Saturday at the Kmart parking lot.

Kaua‘i Police Department was one of several safety-oriented organizations participating in the annual Kmart National Safety Day Fair for the community’s young people.

“This was pretty last-minute,” said Jarrett Chytka, general manager of the Kmart store. “But the response has been great and our community organizations are great about working with the youngsters.”

In addition to having keiki car seat inspections, KPD had McGruff the Crime Dog on hand, joining with the Kmart mascots Pan Pan representing Little Caesar’s pizza and the Blue Light, parents taking advantage of the appearance of the icons for photographs against the backdrop of emergency vehicles like the fire engines, ambulance and the KPD Mobile Incident Command Center.

The KPD Explorer program and the Sea Scout program were well-represented. The youth in the Explorer program helped with the Keiki ID program done in conjunction with Senter Petroleum, and the Sea Scouts assisted the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in helping children with demonstrations of personal safety devices, or life vests, when riding boats. They also took time to talk about their respective programs to prospective recruits.

During the tour through the tent housing the different agencies, keiki eagerly picked up free giveaways while parents were invited to gather brochures and information on a variety of topics ranging from keiki safety to disaster preparedness. Other agencies included the Civil Defense, the American Red Cross, Kaua‘i Chapter and American Medical Response.  Kmart offered a $500 gift card to a lucky person.

Chytka said this popular event moved out of the back parking lot to the front lot for this year, to improve its visibility to motorists traveling by on Nawiliwili Road.

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