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Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, children continue to deal with another crisis. Firearms, motor vehicle crashes, poisonings, drownings, and a lack of safe equipment and products which are taking their lives. Injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for children 1-18-years-old. Every day, 20 children die from preventable injuries, resulting in more deaths than all other diseases combined. This is an unfortunate reality for children around the world, in the United States and especially here in our greater Houston community. The good news is that many of these injuries are preventable with the assistance of education, evidence-based safety practices, proper equipment and the implementation of strong legislation. We know that public health strategies to prevent these injuries are working because we have seen a decline in these rates over the last decade. Injury rates are still alarmingly high, so now is not the time to slow our efforts.
Today, Texas Children’s Hospital and other trauma centers across the United States will partner with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids to launch the country’s first Injury Prevention Day. Texas Children’s Center for Childhood injury Prevention has provided education and life-saving resources in our local community for more than 20 years. In honor of Injury Prevention Day, we will be lighting up our hospital tower and other city buildings green, sharing information on social media, and providing virtual education classes and child safety products. We encourage each of you to participate in Injury Prevention Day, and help us continue to make injury prevention a public priority and save the lives of our children. Below are a few ways you can participate:
- Green is the color being used across the nation to shine a light on the importance of injury prevention. Wear green to show your support.
- Go through your home to identify and remove any hazards for your children of all ages using our home safety checklist. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.
- Parenting can be hard, especially when combined with other stressful life events. Find a way to cope through self-care techniques (deep breaths, go for a walk) and reach out to emotionally supportive friends, family or neighbors. Resources to support you as a parent are available in our community.
- Have your car seat inspected by a certified child passenger safety technician; call our dedicated car seat line for more information: 832-822-2277.
- Visit texaschildrens.org/injuryprevention to take our Injury Prevention Day Quiz. Share something new you learned on social media with the #BeInjuryFree #TCHIP
To my injury prevention colleagues:
It would not be Injury Prevention Day if I did not pause to thank you for your hard work and dedication to the profession of injury prevention. Because of our efforts, we have seen a number of successes like a decline in injury rates over the last 20 years, passing of child safety legislation, improvements and increased usage of child safety devices, and more public awareness than ever before. I know it can sometimes seem like a thankless job when you work long hours in inclement weather away from your own families, and are still unable to adequately quantify the number of children saved and lives impacted. However, I encourage you to continue to serve as a passionate advocate for your local communities, it is working, and you are making a difference beyond what you may ever know.
Happy Injury Prevention Day!