Playing It Safe moves to Leonhard Recreation Center, rain or shine

Carle and Safe Kids Champaign County will host the 21st annual Playing It Safe free family safety fair on Saturday, May 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Leonhard Recreation Center.

More than 50 interactive stations will focus on safety awareness in a fun environment.

One of the best things about the new location is the ability to host the majority of activities without worrying about weather.

"Much like weather, we can't predict when our children will face danger, so it's important that we get families this information," Amy Rademaker, Rural Health & Farm Safety Coordinator at Carle said.

"Our most popular attractions will continue, including infant car seat safety checks, internet safety and child ID kits."

Children and their families can learn one-on-one from nurses, EMTs, firefighters, police officers and other experts. Parents will want to participate in the drive-thru for certified car seat safety checks for infant seats and child booster seats, work-zone safety guidance and obtaining free child identification kits that include a video, photo and DNA from each child.

If a family has attended before, there are many reasons to return.

"Even if you've been to Playing It Safe before, there's always something new and different," Rademaker said.

"Children can pick up new tips as they get older, and it's good to reinforce good safety habits each and every year."

Henry Moore, MD, trauma surgeon and Playing It Safe physician chair said “While Carle stands ready to help children and families affected by severe injuries and other dangers, our goal is sharing education to keep children safe and out of our Emergency Department."

"We want parents and other caregivers to know what to do in a host of situations so we can prevent accidents and save lives.”

Playing It Safe will also feature:

  • Tornado safety and community disaster education
  • Fire truck tours and fire safety house
  • Internet safety
  • Bicycle inspections and bike helmet sales
  • Dogs from a police K-9 unit
  • SWAT Team and Bomb Squad Robot

Between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., the first 1,500 guests will receive free hot dogs and chips from Sonic Drive-In. Bottles of water courtesy of Health Alliance and free ice cream from Prairie Farms will be available throughout the day as supplies last. Plus, children can earn time on inflatable games from Action Inflatables by participating in safety activities.

Please check the following for updates or changes in case of inclement weather.

Volunteers will assist parents in finding any weather-related relocated activities.

Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District will provide free rides to the event with a Playing It Safe flier. Children younger than 13 must ride with an adult. To learn more and download a Playing It Safe flier, visit carle.org/playingitsafe.