As you read a few weeks ago on this blog, an important topic in our Early Childhood classrooms is the idea of community helpers.  Learning about community helpers such as police, firefighters, doctors, nurses, and teachers helps children to recognize those individuals who can help them and others when needed.  It is not often that children three or four years old get a chance to actually be community helpers themselves — but such was the case for some of our Academy students in HATS and Junior Kindergarten this semester!

A local marketing company, Bird Dog Marketing Group LLC, contacted Harrisburg Academy regarding the need for children between the ages of three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half to participate in a field test of child safety products that are required by the government to have child-resistant packaging.  This packaging is found on many popular household items, such as floor cleaners, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, lighters, and other products that may be harmful to a child.

The field testing was simple:  the children were tested in groups of two for a period of 10 minutes, during which time they were to attempt to open and empty an unmarked container secured with a child-resistant closure.  At first, the children were simply given a container and instructed to open the container (by the way, there were no harmful substances in any of the containers at any time).  Then, the presenter opened the container in front of the children, closed it, and then again asked the children to open the container.  No other instructions or encouragement were offered.  The presenters simply observed the children during the process and noted any progress made.

The purpose of this field test was to determine if this particular child-resistant packaging works.  By running these field tests regularly with a variety of children, the companies producing packaging can alter their products and provide packaging that has significantly lessened the death rate among children due to accidental poisoning or overdose from common household products.  Our children were an integral part of that process!  Thus, our children were community helpers!

Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.