Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Key Resources for Parents to Help Their Children Stay Safe

Today’s guest blog is by Angela D. Mickalide, PhD, MCHES, Director of Research and Programs, Safe Kids USA.

As a mother of two teenagers and a staff member for Safe Kids USA , I am reminded daily of how important my role as a parent has been in keeping my children safe and injury free. Some of it is common sense, but also much of what we as parents need to do is advance planning to take the necessary precautions to keep our children safe.

At Safe Kids USA, our mission is simple – to help prevent injuries to children. It’s a mission that you might think every parent and caregiver should have. But sadly, preventable injuries are the greatest killer of kids from ages 1 to 14. More than 5,000 children die in the U.S. each year from injuries that could have been prevented, and another 6 million kids sustain an injury serious enough to seek medical attention!

Motor vehicle-related accidents; drowning; fire and burns; sports-related accidents; choking, suffocation, and falls are among the leading causes for these injuries.

What we’ve found is that injuries to children can be avoided if parents and caregivers are educated on some very important and easy steps to keep their children safe. For example, on April 17, we will launch a national sports safety campaign supported by Johnson & Johnson that will focus on ways to keep young athletes healthy and injury free.

In all, we have more than 20 public awareness campaigns that we offer parents and caregivers through our network of 600 safety coalitions and chapters that operate in all 50 states. Since our work began in 1987, the death rate for children 14 and under in the U.S has declined by 45 percent. However, more work still needs to be done in preventing injuries to children at home, at play and while they are on their way!

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