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Local organization works to educate families on dangers for children

Posted at 9:53 PM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 04:11:53-05

The community continues to mourn a child that was hit and killed by a car on Wednesday night.

Police said the boy was trying to run across the street when he was hit. Several witnesses told WPTV and authorities that the incident involved children playing chicken — a game where people jump in front of moving cars.

This is sparking conversation among child safety experts. We learned of one local group whose mission is to prevent tragedies and educate families.

"It is terrible what happened here," said Kelly Powell, who helps run Safe Kids of Palm Beach County

The local chapter is part of a national organization which offers safety education and materials to families to decrease preventable injuries in children from 0 to 19.

"Whether it's from a vehicle crash, pedestrian issues, bikes, falls, choking, drowning," said Powell.

She said the organization works to teach parents about dangerous games that children can play, such as chicken.

"It's very dangerous. Especially for children.  They don't have the cognitive skills or the developmental skills until at least the age of 10, to know the speed of a car and how quickly it takes to get across," said Powell. "Cars will not always see them, we want to make sure parents are talking to their children."

Lantana Road is eight lanes across and is one of the busiest roads in the Lantana and Lake Worth area. The speed limit is 45 miles per hour.

"When you live on a busy road, with a lot of lanes such as Lantana Road, you want to make sure you have the conversation with your child, talk to them about how to cross the road safely," said Powell.

Powell also says with the time change and sun going down earlier, drivers need to be more cognizant.

"Especially now you can see today it's raining, it's harder for drivers to see. Even at night now it's getting dark so early it's harder for drivers to see so we want to educate everyone, it's not one person's problem, it's everyone's problem," she said. 

She says kids should wear light colored clothes while going out at night.

"Have lights, have reflective gear," Powell advised.

But the most important thing for parents and drivers do is to communicate.

"We just want parents to talk their kids about safe choices while they're playing," said Powell.

For more information on Safe Kids of Palm Beach County and how to talk to your children about various dangers, click here for their safety tip sheet.