For the past 25 years, Safe Kids Springfield has worked to prevent unintentional childhood injuries, which are the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1 to 14. With everything from car seat checks to bike helmet fittings, Safe Kids is a free resource for local families.
“Every year, 9,000 families in the U.S. lose a child because of crashes, fires, drowning, falls, suffocation and more,” said Daphne Greenlee, coordinator of Safe Kids Springfield and trauma outreach coordinator for the Mercy Injury Prevention Center. “Millions more children are injured in ways that can affect them for a lifetime.”
To provide parents with the resources they need, Safe Kids Springfield is hosting the first-ever Safe Kids Day on Saturday, April 12, from 9 to noon at Hammons Field in Springfield. From hands-on games and activities to face painting and giveaways, the day focuses on celebrating kids. Naturally, there will be safety demonstrations with simple ideas for protecting children while keeping them active.
“As we celebrate 25 years as a Safe Kids coalition, we have one critical goal: work together as a community to raise awareness about preventable injuries,” saod Greenlee. “And as part of the celebration, we’re asking families to take the ‘Safer in 7’ challenge – seven simple tips to keep kids safe.”
- Check your car seat to make sure it’s snug. Tug on your kid’s car seat where the seat belt goes. If it moves more than 1” at the base, tighten it up. To schedule a free car seat check, contact the Mercy Injury Prevention Center at (417) 820-7233.
- Do a quick check of the TVs in your home. Secure TVs and furniture to the wall. Mount flat screen TVs and keep bulky-style TVs on a low and stable base.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Don’t forget to replace batteries each year and devices every 10 years.
- Keep medicines up and away. Scan your home for places kids can get into medicine. It is pills in purses, vitamins on counters and medicines in daily reminder boxes that curious kids get into.
- Check your home for button batteries. These come in musical greeting cards, remote controls and key fobs. Keep these devices out of reach of little fingers.
- Talk to coaches about concussion prevention and sports safety training. It’s important for players, parents and coaches to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions, know how to stay hydrated and learn how to avoid overuse injuries.
- Put devices down when walking. Take action against distraction by teaching kids to look up and pay extra attention when using headphones, cell phones or electronic devices. Make it a rule to put these devices down when crossing the street.
Safe Kids Springfield is part of a larger celebration throughout April that includes more than 100 communities across the United States. Safe Kids Worldwide’s celebrity heroes include Drew Barrymore, Mark Wahlberg, Piers Morgan, Pete Sampras and many more.
Safe Kids Day in Springfield is presented by Children’s Tylenol with support from the General Motors Foundation, FedEx and Chevrolet. For more information, visit www.safekidsspringfield.org.
Safe Kids Springfield works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Springfield is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Springfield was founded in 1989 and is led by Mercy Hospital Springfield.