Milk Cartons Offer Child-Safety Tips

POSTED: 3:10 pm PDT April 26, 2004
UPDATED: 3:32 pm PDT April 26, 2004
Milk in cartons illustrated with messages reminding children how to protect themselves and their environment will be served in Los Angeles Unified cafeterias, school officials said Monday.

"It's a little reminder to them of the things that they need to do to stay healthy and strong," Los Angeles Unified school board member Julie Korenstein told reporters at Millikan Middle School in Sherman Oaks.

The messages include "Don't feed pests! Use trash bins." "We share the ocean, keep it clean." and "Smart swimmers swim with a buddy."

The cartons were illustrated by Michael Bruza, who designed the "Central Perk" logo for the television show "Friends."

The campaign is part of California Safe Schools, a parent-driven, nonprofit coalition of more than 40 Southern California organizations, most of which focus on environmental, health or safety issues.

CSC was started by Robina Suwol after her asthmatic son, Nicholas Baker, got sick in 1999, allegedly from pesticides that were being sprayed outside his classroom at Sherman Oaks Elementary School.

"I was horrified," Suwol told reporters. "It was surprising to know that they were using those kinds of products at school, but fortunately the policy that we enacted here in 1999, that was unanimously approved, has now become a national model."

In March of that year, the school board revised its pest management policy and set a goal of phasing out the use of pesticides and herbicides as technology permits, said Susan Cox of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

LAUSD now uses the lowest risk pesticides possible, she said.