With spring underway and summer just around the corner, our attention is focused on providing safety messages throughout Tampa Bay. Providing health and safety education to children, teens and adults is our passion, and we want to make sure that everyone has the information needed to make good choices that will result in a lifetime of good health.

In light of the recent tragedies in our communities and beyond, please know that MORE HEALTH continues to partner with law enforcement to spread the message of violence prevention through our innovative lessons. We teach students and teachers a simple phrase that resonates with all when coming upon a firearm. HALT! HANDS OFF! GET OUT! GET HELP! We encourage everyone to assume all firearms are loaded, and that if a student finds a firearm they should tell a trusted adult or contact local law enforcement. Our lesson has received national recognition in providing students with life-saving information that they have followed potentially saving many lives.

As you may know, the state of Florida leads the nation in the deadliest roads. Do your family members know how to navigate our roadways as a safe pedestrian or bicyclist? Just the other day, a driver almost hit me while I was crossing the street on my bike. He was on his phone and seemed to be in a hurry. I was so thankful that I was paying attention and realized he wasn’t stopping and looking before he turned right at the light. It only takes a second of distraction to change or end a life.

All kids under the age of 16 must wear a helmet when riding a bike – it’s the law. Call MORE HEALTH about receiving a FREE helmet at 813-287-5032. Additionally, helmets should be worn while riding a scooter, roller blades, skate boards, etc. We encourage the following safety steps:

Never wear earbuds while on wheels.
Always stop, look, and listen before crossing the street. Make eye contact with the driver to make sure that he or she is paying attention. Drivers are often distracted by electronic devices.
When crossing in front of a bus, always cross at least 10 steps in front of the bus so that the driver can see you.
If walking either in the evening or after dark, remember that children should walk with an adult and that everyone should wear brightly-colored clothing, and utilize a flashlight.
Always ride a bicycle with the flow of traffic and walk against the flow of traffic.

Thank you for taking the time to review these suggestions with your loved ones. Healthy, safe, strong communities are those armed with the knowledge to make healthy, safe choices.

Karen Pesce Buckenheimer, R.N., Executive Director
Karen Pesce Buckenheimer
Executive Director