Splish splash carnival teaches kids water safety

JONATHAN FENRICH WAITS to be “rescued” after his boat was tipped over in the Red Shield center’s pool.

Summer is the time of year for playing outdoors–at the beach, lakes, and in local swimming pools. It’s also the time of year when many children lose their lives to accidental drowning. To teach water safety in a way that’s fun, exciting and memorable, the Anaheim Red Shield Center hosted its very first “Splish Splash” water safety carnival.

Over 400 people arrived at a parking lot filled with games, food and information booths. While children bounced in the two jumping castles and had their faces painted, parents received valuable information on water safety and awareness from the Anaheim Police Department, the Anaheim Fire Department, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Hoag Hospital, C.A.R.E. Ambulance Company, the American Red Cross, Project SAY, and Pathways to Responsibility.

The Anaheim Fire Department brought one of its rigs, equipped with a mechanical ladder, which was extended to its full height with a firefighter sitting on top! The Anaheim Police Department provided all parents with free fingerprinting for their children; C.A.R.E. brought a special ambulance designed for children to climb in, touch and explore. The most popular of the outdoor activities was our “Splish Splash dunk tank,” where guests stood in line to dump members of the Red Shield Center staff into a see-through tank. The longest line formed at the end of the day when the center’s administrator, Captain Ron Fenrich, took his turn in the tank!

The fun continued inside the center, where visitors could visit the six-lane swimming pool. Here, they were able to get information on the Red Shield’s competitive swim team and participate in interactive safety activities, and all children were invited to jump in the pool for an “Under the Sea Treasure Hunt.” Across the lobby in the fellowship room, videos were presented and discussions led in both English and Spanish teaching water safety awareness, beach safety, and CPR. Representatives from the American Red Cross, CHOC Hospital, and Hoag Hospital led the sessions.

Thanks to the generosity of the Coca Cola Bottling Company and Papa John’s Pizza, there were plenty of snacks to go around!

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