Safety. It's a word that parents hear a lot as it relates to their children. A wide variety of issues involve children and safety: passenger safety in motor vehicles, bike safety, poison prevention, water safety and fire safety, just to name a few. One of the best ways to minimize the impact of injuries in children is prevention. When community organizations join forces, educating the public about safety and prevention can be accomplished at an even greater level.
For that reason, Children's Hospital serves as lead organization for Safe Kids of the Greater Knox Area. The mission of the local Safe Kids coalition is to reduce unintentional injuries in children up to age 14 in the East Tennessee region by promoting awareness and implementing prevention initiatives. The local Safe Kids is part of Safe Kids Worldwide, a network of coalitions whose primary purpose is to prevent unintentional injuries in children by providing children and adults caring for them with information about how to stay safe.
Safe Kids of the Greater Knox Area provides a number of services to families throughout East Tennessee, including:
As the lead organization, Children's Hospital works with all the Safe Kids coalition members to ensure the Principles of Performance established by Safe Kids Worldwide are met:
- Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Checkpoints and Official CPS Fitting Stations
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 32-hour CPS course
- Non-certifying CPS awareness courses (8 and 4 hours)
- Health Fair Exhibitions
- Injury Prevention Literature
- Poison Prevention information
- Falls Prevention information
- Water Safety Information
- Develop an injury prevention plan based on needs assessments and ongoing evaluations.
- Comply with all procedural and reporting requirements within the organization and to relevant governmental or regulatory agencies.
- Conduct comprehensive outreach programs designed to reduce injuries to children in the communities served.
- Promote public awareness of Safe Kids and injury prevention through media and marketing.
- Advocate for injury prevention legislation, regulations and enforcement of existing laws.
- Secure resources and community support necessary to fund and enable the ongoing work of the organization.
Safe Kids also pursues the reduction of injuries not just because it is a desirable public health goal, but because accidental injuries have a clear and serious financial impact on families. Injury prevention programs are cost effective because they employ relatively inexpensive interventions to avoid costly medical care. Such programs also require continued and often constant reinforcement because as long as there are children, there will be a need to remind them of ways to lessen the possibility of injuries.