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  • Updated: 07/11/03


    KETCHUM, Okla.  When you go fishing with kids, you need more than fishing 
    tackle. For safety’s sake, you’ve got to bring the right attitude  Safety 
    Comes First  as well as the right stuff.

    That’s the advice from Hooked on Fishing International (HOFI), producers of 
    the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby.  This year, its seventeenth, 
    the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby program, along with the help 
    of thousands of local volunteers, will take 300,000 kids fishing on lakes 
    and ponds in all 50 states.

    Here’s the Safety-Comes-First checklist that HOFI has developed to guide 
    the adult volunteers who supervise all those children (some as young as 5) 
    in more than 1,800 fishing events held at the water’s edge.
    § Establish rules. No running. Keep your shoes on, and look around before 
    you cast.
    § Set up a buddy system. The youngest anglers need an adult “buddy” and 
    constant supervision.
    § Make sure each angler, swimmers and non-swimmers alike, wears a personal 
    flotation device at all times -- on the boat, on the dock, or on the shore.
    § Bring a long-handled fish net, not just for netting fish, but in case you 
    need to reach out to someone in the water. It will also retrieve trash or 
    valuables from the water.
    § First Aid Kit. You should have a kit with medical supplies to deal with 
    all manner of cuts and scrapes, bruises and bumps, bites and boo-boos. 
    You’re likely to be some distance away from professional medical assistance 
    so remember, in the meantime, you’re the “doctor.”  Johnson & Johnson First 
    Aid Pocket Pals are a smart addition to the tackle box.
    § Cold drink breaks. Summer temperatures can get pretty warm, so bring lots 
    of cool water and other healthy drinks and make sure the young anglers 
    drink fluids often to prevent dehydration or even heat stroke.
    § Sunscreen. The ultraviolet (UV) light of the sun can do a lot of damage 
    to skin, eyes and lips. Outfit young anglers with proper sunglasses, a 
    billed cap, and clothing appropriate to the climate and sun conditions. 
    Avoid fishing in the middle of the day. Cover face, neck, ears, the back of 
    hands and all exposed skin with sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 
    15 or higher. Apply chap protection wax on lips.
    § Insect repellent. Mosquitoes, ticks, bees and other insects not only 
    sting, they can carry diseases of one kind or another. Apply insect 
    repellent. Follow the directions on the container. If your insect repellent 
    contains “Deet,” it may be better to apply it to the clothing instead of 
    the skin.
    § Safety comes first. All the checklists in the world can’t anticipate all 
    of the safety problems you or your young anglers might encounter on a 
    fishing trip. So the best advice is think safety at all times. Look for 
    trouble before it finds you. If it finds you anyway, know how to deal with it.

    HOFI teaches Safety Comes First to the organizations and adult volunteers 
    that do the hard work of staging 1,800 fishing events every year. 
    Organizations interested in hosting a youth fishing event can learn more 
    about the program and even register on the web site, 
    www.kids-fishing.com.  Qualifying groups receive a free kit with the items 
    needed to put on a local derby, including event promotion tools, a how-to 
    handbook, name badges, prizes and goodies for each derby participant.

    Parents who would like to bring their children to one of the events can 
    find the nearest derby, and the dates, by checking the Derby Locator, also 
    on the web site.  The Derby Locator section even supplies the phone number 
    of the local derby person to call for more information
    In addition to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the Kids All-American Fishing Derby 
    program benefits from its partnerships with Bar-S Foods Company, Berkley 
    PowerBait, Berkley Trilene, ConAgra Foods, Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum, Eagle 
    Claw, EverStart Batteries, FishingWorld.com, Fujifilm, Johnson & Johnson 
    First Aid Pocket Pals, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, Laker Fishing Tackle and Zebco.

    Now you can Join all of Walleyes Inc. mailing lists from one spot.  Sign up  to receive notice of updates in the Walleye fishing world and be eligible for great Members only discounts on RAM Mounting Products the Pros choice and Church Products. Only  from your one stop resource Walleyes Inc. Enter your email address below, then click the 'Sign Up' button

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