This nationwide network of organizations has a mission: preventing unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1 to 14.
It is one of the reasons for a relaunch and coalition building dinner for Safe Kids in Polk County, hosted by Redmond EMS.
“We have been fortunate to be named the lead agency,” said Marty Robinson, coordinator. He said Redmond is the lead agency for three different coalitions - Polk, Floyd and Chattooga counties.”
As Polk County continues to grow, he said, so does its youth population. With this growth comes the need to educate for prevention of accidental childhood injury.
He emphasized that there are many opportunities for participants to be involved.
“We have visited the schools to give safety presentations,” he said. “In May, we will visit local elementary schools for a bike safety activity program.”
Noted is the fact that Safe Kids is a multi-agency worldwide organization where members:
Teach families about child injury risks and prevention;
Encourage and conduct research on leading injury risks;
Evaluate solutions for injury risks;
Work to pass and improve child safety laws and regulations;
Provide lifesaving devices such as child safety seats, helmets and smoke alarms to families who need them;
Promote corporate leadership in child safety through effective and sustainable partnerships.
Robinson said that Safe Kids Polk injury prevention topics for February through April are about poison, youth sports and bike safety.
From May to July, safety topics are about water, child passengers, fireworks and others.
Key facts provided to members include:
Unintentional injury is the number one killer of children, ages 1 to 14, in the United States.
The leading cause of injury-related death for children, ages 14 and under, are motor vehicle crashes, suffocation, drowning, fires and/or burns.
Among child passenger death in 2009, 31 percent of children under age 4 and 42 percent of those ages 4 to 7 were unrestrained.
When installed and used correctly, child safety seats and safety belts can prevent injuries and save lives. Child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers (ages 1 to 4).
Excluding automobiles, bicycles are tied to more childhood injuries than any other consumer product in the United States.
In 2009, about 229,811 children were treated in emergency departments for cycle-related injuries. On average, nearly 630 children are injured daily due to cycle-related crashes.
The same year, 91 percent of bicyclists (all ages) were not wearing a helmet.
“Membership in Safe Kids is open to all, individuals and groups,” Robinson said. “By joining us to provide injury prevention programs, you will not only have a lasting impact on safety for local children but will also positively affect our community.”