More than 500 celebrities, parents and kids turned up to support Safe Kids Worldwide at Safe Kids Day, presented by Nationwide, at the Lot in West Hollywood on April 26, to raise awareness and funds to stop preventable injuries, the No. 1 cause of death for children in the United States. With a running theme of “Let’s Play!,” giddy tots and their adult counterparts slurped snow cones, slid down a giant slide, listened to stories read by Drew Barrymore and Rhea Wahlberg and played safety-related games (shooting water guns to hose down pretend flames, tossing sock-covered tennis balls into a laundry hamper) as a way to learn about safety, prevent injuries and save lives.
Gavin Rossdale, Save the Children animal ambassador Lassie (yes, she barked her way through the press line, answering questions through a doggy interpreter), Malin Akerman, Mark Wahlberg and Mark-Paul Gosselaar were among the celebrities at the fundraiser.
“Bath safety, kitchen safety, little details like you don’t put a blanket or a toy in the crib until (a certain) age — these are all so important and you need a place to be able to go that is very current and that has all the latest data and facts and researched information on how to keep your kids safe,” said Barrymore, a mother of two. “(Safe Kids Worldwide) teaches you about preventable injuries, which gives you a sense of power and control. As a parent I sometimes feel very overwhelmed by all that there is — you know, it’s like, you put a gate up in this room and then a gate in that room — there’s a thousand things that you’re supposed to do. So I need a place to go that is going to give me all that information, so thank God for them.”
“All My Children” star Rebecca Budig brought baby daughter Charlotte to the event, hoping to pick up some tips on child safety in the home.
“She just started wanting to stand and just starting to crawl so I’m starting to understand how important it is,” said Budig, who was able to take a little bit of time off from her acting duties after Charlotte was born. “I don’t even know if there’s an easy way to (be a working mom). I think your heart is at home with your baby, but it’s also important to have something for yourself and work.”
Gosselaar, dad to four, has already imparted his love for bike riding to his children — and stresses the importance of protecting the head.
“A big thing for me is helmets,” he said. “I grew up racing motocross and bicycles and all that stuff, so helmets for me is a big, big thing. Every time you get on your bike or a scooter, you have to put on your helmet.”
Donning a blond wig to revive his “Saved by the Bell” character Zack Morris for a reunion show is far less likely.
“To be honest with you, I think it was fun what we did on ‘Fallon,’ but I doubt we’d ever do something that was theatrical,” he noted of the recent latenight spoof. “I don’t know if it would be fun to do like what ‘Full House’ is doing, because those were characters we played and it was so long ago. Those were wigs we were wearing for ‘Fallon,’ and it required hours of makeup to look like our parts. It doesn’t feel organic.”
(Pictured: Drew Barrymore shares a story at Safe Kids Day)