“Richfield has one of the largest Night to Unite events in the state. We have invited all Richfield residents to join in our fight for a safer community," Jill Mecklenburg, Certified Crime Prevention Specialist from the Richfield Police Department, said in a press release from the RPD. "Many of our Neighborhood Crime Watch blocks and apartment complexes will be celebrating Night to Unite with cookouts, bicycle parades, bingo games, face painting, ice cream socials, contests, and food shelf collections."
Along with all the tips you've probably researched about how to make great barbecue or how to organize a killer potluck, Children's Hospitals and Clinics, based in nearby Minneapolis, offer the following tips for an informative block party:
1. Post important personal and contact information in a central place in your home.
- Include parents’ names, street address, mobile, home and work phone numbers, 911, poison control, fire department, police department, and helpful neighbors.
- Use a neighborhood party to help children familiarize themselves with their neighbors and identify whom they can go to for help.
2. Teach your child how and when to call 911.
- Discuss specifics of what an emergency is and when 911 should be used.
- Role play different scenarios and make sure kids know what information to give to the 911 operator.
- For younger kids, discuss the different roles of emergency workers and what they do.
3. Discuss “stranger danger”.
- Talk with your kids about who is allowed to pick them up from school or activities.
- Discuss the importance of walking in pairs and attention to their surroundings.
- Ensure they always take the same route home from school and do not take short cuts.
4. Practice street safety.
- Have children practice looking both ways before stepping into the street, using the crosswalk and obeying the walk/don’t walk signals.
- Teach kids what different road signs mean, such as a stop sign.
- Remind children about the importance of biking with a helmet and reflective light.
5. Talk to your children about fire safety.
- If fire trucks are present at the neighborhood party, use their presence as an opportunity to discuss what to do if there were a fire.
- Plan and practice escape routes in your home and designate a meeting spot in case you get separated.