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Emergency professionals, dietitian, teach Park Rapids area kids summer survival skills for home

Emergency Medical Technician Dennis Mackedanz demonstrates CPR with Kaden Safratowich for the watchful eyes at the Home Alone program on Tuesday morning.

Kids learned how to be safe and healthy while staying at home alone.

Hosted by Gina Porosinsky, the "Home Alone" program was held in the Park Rapids Century School for grades 3-6 on Tuesday, June 7. About 25 kids attended the program.

Emergency Medical Technician Dennis Mackedanz, manager of the North Memorial Ambulance services, discussed numerous topics such as when calling 911 is necessary, as well as what to do while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. In emergencies such as choking, trouble breathing, seizures and trauma, Mackedanz explained how to best care for the person in need.

The kids were taught how to create a synthetic cough to aid a victim that's choking, how to keep someone safe while suffering a seizure and how to help a person that's undergone physical trauma.

Local firefighter Travis Little from the Park Rapids Fire Department talked about the dangers of house fires and how to get to safety. Little described how to safely and effectively get out of a building or room, and to a "safety zone" to call the fire department.

Little made sure they all understood how to stay safe during a severe storm or tornado, and what to do in case of a gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning. He also demonstrated how to operate a fire extinguisher, how often to check your fire extinguishers and smoke detectors and how to put out small kitchen fires.

Leah Walters is a registered dietitian for St. Joseph's Area Health Services and Essentia Health. Walters clued in the kids not only on what they should or should not eat, but what foods to eat in moderation, even though they may be considered "healthy." She also covered how to prepare foods in safe ways, and still maintain a healthy balance.

According to Walters, some foods may look healthy, without actually being good choices. Some examples of healthy food are bagels with peanut butter or cheese, or granola bars.

"Listen to your body to know if you're hungry," she says, "Don't eat just because you're bored."

Walters said that fat is a normal part of our bodies, and it's necessary, but in excess, causes problems.

The kids responded with multiple questions; their curiosity piqued. With demonstrations as well as interacting discussion, they watched and listened intently to learn how to stay safe at home alone.