Developed by the National Fire Protection Association, this curriculum gives teachers a tool with which to teach children about the leading causes of death for persons their age. The curriculum is aligned with the California language arts and health standards making it very easy for teachers to incorporate into their weekly lesson plans. The CIPC manages the Southern California Risk Watch Coalition, a network of fire, police, health, and education departments dedicated to decreasing injuries among children. The coalition is responsible for expanding and sustaining the program throughout the Southern California region.
Success stories from this program are plentiful. Below is one example of how Risk Watch can make our families' homes more safe!
A family had three elementary school aged children all receiving Risk Watch in school and a middle school aged child not receiving the program. Through this program, the mother spoke to her children and started training them on ways to escape the home in case of a fire. They developed and practiced their fire escape plan four times (once every day for four days). Then, the mother had her cousin who is a DJ bring in a smoke maker, without informing her kids of this. At 8pm that evening the mother turned on the smoke maker activating the smoke dector. Most of the family members knew how to and did successfully escape from the house, meeting at the family meeting spot as they practiced. The middle school child was the only one that did not do it and she also happened to be the only one not in the Risk Watch program. This daughter told her mom that because she did not cough or see smoke she did not escape, even though she had heard the smoke detector go off. It took her 5 minutes to escape from the house, which could have been deadly in a real situation.
We are delighted to see that the younger children that learned about home escape plans and practiced them succesfully escaped their homes as a result of Risk Watch. The mother also noted that when her children started the Risk Watch program, they checked their smoke detectors and had 4 out of 5 that did not work. They have since been replaced.
More information about this program can be found at http://www.labiomed.org/socalriskwatch/ and www.riskwatch.org. Please feel free to contact us if your school is interested in this program. Here is our Coalition brochure with additional information. Risk Watch brochure
First grade teacher Michele Clayton received national recognition for her work with the Southern California Risk Watch coalition on November 18th, 2002 at the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fall Conference in Atlanta, GA. Ms. Clayton was named the NFPA 2002 Teacher of the Year in recognition of her demonstrated excellence and innovation in the use of Risk Watch. NFPA’s Risk Watch teaches children and their families the skills and knowledge they need to be safe in the areas they are at greatest risk to: unintentional injuries. As a result of the program, children and families are practicing home fire escape plans, using bike helmets correctly, installing smoke detectors, and storing guns in locked cabinets. Ms. Clayton states, “If I have the opportunity to save one child’s life or to prevent one child from a serious preventable injury, I say yes! I choose to participate in this life saving program. There is no other program I know of that gives children these skills to make safe life choices. Risk Watch is the most powerful curriculum I have ever used in my classroom.”