Photo/Story Gallery 2005
Pet Watermelon Used for Safety Talk
The Suwannee Valley Learning Center in Lake City recently invited the Florida Highway Patrol to present a Safety Belt program to their pre-school age children. Lieutenant Mike Burroughs was happy to visit the children and share his favorite seat belt stories for children to encourage them to buckle up.
Pictured left, Lt. Mike Burroughs presents his seat belt story about two characters named Mikey and Tommy to the pre-school children.
Lt. Burroughs took the opportunity to swear-in all of the children as junior troopers and present each with a junior trooper badge. The children were then ready to help ensure that their parents, family members, and friends buckled up every time they get into a car.
The children sat quietly and listened intently as Lt. Burroughs shared the story of his pet watermelon and the wagon ride. The story relates the importance of being properly restrained by a seat belt while riding in a motor vehicle. All of the children laughed when Lt. Burroughs told them he has a pet watermelon that likes to ride in a wagon.
Pictured right, Lt. Mike Burroughs demonstrates a story about his pet watermelon and wagon as he relates the importance of seat belts.
Lt. Burroughs tells of a time when the pet watermelon wanted to ride down a hill in his wagon without a watermelon seat belt. When the wagon hit a rock on the hill the watermelon was thrown out of the wagon, into the air and then hit the ground with a splat! He then tells the children that luckily he was able to buy a new pet watermelon, but that parents cannot buy new children who are thrown out of vehicles because they were not wearing seat belts.
The pet watermelon story relays the importance of seat belts using humor designed for young audiences, but the message is a serious one. Traffic crashes remain the number one cause of death for children under age 14 in this country. Each year in the United States, an estimated 2,200 children die in traffic crashes with approximately 55% of those not wearing seatbelts or properly restrained in child safety seats. Over half of those children could have been saved if they had been buckled up!