The germs that are left on kids’ hands after wash-ing glow under the special light. The boys thought it was cool and gross at the same time.

By Anne Eickstadt


“Last year was our first Safety Bowl. We did it at the hospital,” said Jeannie Sullivan, Child Life Specialist at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center. “This year we wanted to reach further into Belvidere.”

The Safety Bowl was a fun and educational way for families to enjoy President’s Day on Monday, Feb. 19. It was held at the Belvidere Family YMCA from 8 am until noon.

“The Safety Bowl is designed to teach children and their families the importance of kitchen safety and food preparation, along with other helpful household tips,” Sullivan said. “There are many things we take for granted in our homes, our goal is to educate our guests in a fun, yet informative way.

“We have a burn center with a power point presentation and a play kitchen so kids can learn how to avoid being burnt. Ramen noodles are the cause of most burns with kids. They can get scalded from the microwave or stoves. They can also be scalded from hot bath water.

“We have animal assisted therapy dogs. The kids can read a burn safety book to the dogs and talk to them.” The Safety Bowl had a special appearance by three animals from the OSF Animal Assisted Therapy dogs program.

“Our nutritionists are making a snack in the kitchen. They are making Power Peanut Butter Balls. For those that are allergic to peanuts, they have Power Sunbutter Balls.”

These nutritious snacks are easy to make.

Take two-thirds cup of creamy peanut butter or sunflower butter, a half cup of semisweet chocolate chips, one cup old fashioned oats, a half cup of flax seeds, and two teaspoons of honey. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes so they are easier to roll. Roll into 12 bites and store in the fridge for up to a week.

“Hand washing techniques vary. Many people forget to wash their thumbs. We have a special glow light to see germs that are still on the hands after washing.”

OSF personnel would read a story about nasty germs, then spread a special lotion on the kids’ hands. After the kids washed their hands, they could place them in the special light and the germs would glow blue. The kids were amazed at how many germs were still on their hands.

“We have a station where the kids can guess how much sugar is in popular drinks that are often available to kids. We also have serving size dishes for the kids to take home,” said Sullivan.

“We have a fun obstacle course with our exercise physiologist. The kids can

For complete article, pick up the Feb. 28 Belvidere Daily Republican.

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTOS Belvidere Daily Republican
OSF nutritionists show kids how to make nutritious snacks during the Safety Bowl at the Belvidere Family YMCA.

Kids had the chance to read a book and talk to the therapy dogs that visit OSF.

Kids get to spend time in the OSF ambulance as the paramedics tell them all about what to expect should they ever need to have a ride in one.