PALM DESERT, Calif. -

Nothing is more important to parents than the safety of their child. But there comes a time when kids must learn to take care of themselves. 

"For them to see that safety is important, so they can learn to be on the safe side, like wearing helmets, how to approach animals," said Ann Fernandez, a Palm Desert resident and mother of two.

Helping kids understand the value of things like seat belts, helmets and animal safety was the message at Palm Desert's Family Safety Festival Saturday at the Civic Center Park.

"So you never get hurt or get into a car crash and if you get into a car crash you have to go to the hospital, and the hospital is not good," said 7-year-old Tabatha Tirado.

Resources on self-defense were also available. Tirado knows if she's ever in danger she wants to be prepared. 

"So I can protect myself if somebody's trying to get me," Tirado said.
     
The city's police and fire departments answered questions, demonstrated equipment and handed out free bike helmets to Palm Desert residents.

"Sometimes parents or legal guardians don't know how to install a seat or that their child needs to have a helmet on. This just reinforces that," said Sgt. Dave Adams of the Palm Desert Police Department.

Parents breathed a sigh of relief knowing their kids know what to do when they're not around. 

"I feel comfortable when they are outside and they are not especially in my vision," Fernandez said.