Marysville families turn out for ‘Child Safety Day’
By KIRK BOXLEITNER
Marysville Globe Reporter
October 6, 2011 · Updated 7:23 AM
TULALIP — In spite of the day’s gray skies and slight drizzle, the Roy Robinson Chevrolet, Subaru and RV Center in Tulalip drew hundreds of children on Oct. 1 for their first “Child Safety Day.”
Families took advantage of the free “DNA LifePrint” biometric fingerprinting and identification kits that were the centerpiece of the day, and obtained them for a total of 130 kids.
“You’re always better safe than sorry, especially if something bad does happen,” said Doug Patchett of Arlington, as he gently spread his 2-month-old son Gage’s fingers so they could be scanned electronically.
“When we were kids in the ‘70s, they fingerprinted us for kits like this with ink,” said Jacqueline Patchett, Doug’s wife and Gage’s mom. “It’s not as messy now. No more black ink on the fingers,” she laughed.
Tulalip residents Antonio and Sasha Smith not only got a kit for their 1-year-old daughter Jada, but were also joined by Sasha’s sister and father in checking out some of the other safety information exhibits on site.
“Years ago, you got kits like this for your kids, but DNA wasn’t part of it,” said Lee Topash, Sasha’s father and Jada’s grandfather. “I also like that you keep all the information they take down. It doesn’t go to anyone else.”
“You never want to think about what would happen if your child went missing, but you’ll be glad you have something like this if it does happen,” said Mary Jane Topash, Sasha’s sister and Jada’s aunt.
“It’s really nice that the community has come together like this for the safety of its kids,” Sasha Smith said.
While parents continued to get their kids’ photos and fingerprints scanned for their kits, Cheri Gauthier of the Everett Clinic demonstrated how hard it can be to check for children behind a car.
“We have parents sit in the driver’s seat and we place their children behind the stationary car,” Gauthier said. “In Jada’s case, it took her backing up 22 feet before her folks could see her in the rearview or side-view mirrors. You should always walk behind your car before you back up.”
Anna Gomez of the Providence Regional Medical Center educated families in an entertaining way with a roulette wheel of safety subjects, from swimming to home fire escapes.
“How often should you test your smoke alarms?” Gomez asked.
“Once a month,” said Marysville’s Maria Scheib, whose 3-year-old daughter Caroline got a free prize for participating.
Frank Graham of Roy Robinson thanked Safe Kids Snohomish County for coordinating these exhibits, as well as the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the Tulalip Tribal Police, and the Marysville Police Department and Fire District for taking part.
“We had great participation from kids and adults alike,” Graham said. “Community Transit had more than 200 people visit their double-tall commuter bus, and the healthy snacks provided by the Marysville Costco were a big hit.
Contact Marysville Globe Reporter Kirk Boxleitner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-659-1300 Ext. 5052.