Helping Kids Make Smarter, Safer Choices
Underwriters Laboratories, in partnership with the Walt Disney Company, created Safety Smart to inspire individuals to make better-informed decisions about safety through research-based education and community outreach programs. By bringing together Underwriters Laboratories' safety science knowledge and Disney’s creative storytelling abilities, the team developed an award-winning educational methodology that enhances children’s behavioral intent to make "safety smart" decisions.
“The UL Safety Smart program is brilliantly designed to provide engaging safety education to young children internationally," says Michael Cohen Ph.D., President, Michael Cohen Group, LLC. "Safety Smart effectively serves the global mission to reduce our children's preventable injuries, accidents and death. In my role as a research psychologist, I've conducted educational evaluations on behalf of children, youth and families in over 50 countries for over three decades. In that context, Safety Smart is distinguished as a 'best-practice' educational initiative. There is strong, scientific evidence that Safety Smart successfully raises young children's safety awareness, engenders the acquisition of safety skills and knowledge and, importantly, positively impacts children's safe behavior.”
Safety Smart materials have been designed to meet academic standards for science, math, health, language arts, technology, arts education, and social studies. Moreover, when the custom animations are used together with the curriculum-based educator guides, in-classroom projects, take-home activities, coloring pages, web-linked resources, and sing-alongs, they form a comprehensive vehicle to provide safety education to children around the world in 34 languages.
Safety Smart enhances safe behavior by teaching a simple process: eliminate, protect or warn. The guiding principle is that unintentional injuries are avoidable and preventable through Safety Smart choices. Too often, injuries are the result of a poor choice due to lack of knowledge, or incorrect information relating to the cause and effect of the decision. For example, the Safety Smart choice to not play with matches will avoid the start of a fire, using hand rails can help avoid a fall, washing your hands helps avoid the spread of germs, and wearing a life jacket helps decrease the chance of drowning. By teaching Safety Smart concepts, we begin to build a consciousness and a knowledge which children draw upon to make better, life-sustaining choices.
A Sustainable Model
Safety Smart relies on a customized system approach for delivery, executed through formal classroom curriculum-based instruction coupled with community involvement, leadership, influence, and advocacy. Partners are key to the delivery and success of the Safety Smart program. When educational leaders, ministries and/or governments encourage, support and endorse participation in the Safety Smart program as a critical element of life learning, teachers, parents, and students benefit.
Partners Are Key
As Safety Smart expands its global reach, key messages and imagery are tailored to maximize reach and impact across different cultures. The Education and Outreach team has established partnerships globally with more than 40 companies, organizations, universities, NGOs, and government entities. This list includes The Walt Disney Company, SCOUTS of New Zealand, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Youth Service America (YSA), Northwestern University, Chicago Botanic Garden and the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education.
RESOURCE #1: UL Safety Smart®
- Safety Smart is a global educational program designed to encourage and empower children ages 4–8 to practice safe, healthy and environmentally responsible behavior.
- This inspiring program has reached more than 1 billion children, adults and educators in 25 countries and has been translated into 34 languages.
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