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A fall down the stairs. A simmering pot tipped in the wrong direction. It only takes an instant, but the consequences can be lifelong.
Each year in this country alone, more than 6,600 children die and nearly 120,000 are permanently disabled from unintentional injuries.
We want to change this. But we need the help of many in our community.
One community program we work with is the Greater Cincinnati Safe Kids Coalition, a local chapter of Safe Kids USA. Through this organization, we provide education, advocacy and interventions to families, schools, healthcare facilities and community groups.
The Injury Free Coalition for Kids, begun in 2000 by Cincinnati Children’s staff, is another way we are working to reduce accidental injuries. Modeled on a similar program started at New York’s Harlem Hospital, the coalition works with community leaders and residents to prevent accidental injuries to children who live in higher risk neighborhoods.
In the Avondale community, the coalition has built six playgrounds and a football field. They have led the CincyAfterSchool program in three Avondale elementary schools and have donated 200 computers to area schools. The coalition also partnered with other local organizations to start a Friday night youth basketball league.
A number of our hospital departments work with community partners to conduct research on the effectiveness of our safety prevention initiatives. We launched the Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center (CCIC) to focus these efforts even more.
The CCIC brings together experts in medicine, research, advocacy and policy to find better ways to reduce and treat injuries to children. Their first initiative is focused on preventing traumatic brain injuries and providing optimal care for children who suffer them.
In Hamilton County, more than 25,000 children suffered accidental injuries last year. Our strategic plan has set a goal of reducing these injuries in our region by 30 percent by 2015. That means 4,500 children and their families would be spared the trauma, pain and often lengthy recovery of preventable injury.
An estimated nine out of 10 injuries to children are preventable.
Children from low-income families are four times more likely to drown and five times more likely to die in a fire.
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