On November 18 cities across the U.S. will light up green to mark the first National Injury Prevention Day to raise awareness that childhood injuries are serious but preventable. The day of observance and advocacy is led by the Injury-Free Coalition for Kids which has around 40 participating chapters located at trauma hospitals around the country.
In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation declaring November 18th National Injury Prevention Day.
Pam Hoogerwerf, who directs the injury prevention program at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, said the hospital will mark the day by lighting up green, hosting educational events, and sharing social media messages on motor vehicle safety, ATV safety, holiday safety, and safe sleep.
“We will be donating pack-n-plays and educational pamphlets translated into different languages to a local agency that gets these in the hands of people that don’t have a safe place to put their baby,” she said. “Our message is baby should sleep Alone, On their Back and in a Crib.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injury is the leading cause of death for children and adults between the ages of 1 and 45.
Lisa Roth, Deputy Director of the UI Injury Prevention Research Center (UI IPRC) said through advancements in the science of injury we have come to understand that accidents don’t have to be part of life, and unintentional injuries are both predictable and preventable.
“Children and teens can be particularly vulnerable to injury because of their size, their phase of growth and development, and their natural curiosity,” she said.
According to new results of the annual child passenger safety study conducted by the UI IPRC, Iowan teens are less likely to wear seat belts compared to younger children, and rural children in the state are less likely to be properly restrained in a vehicle compared to urban children.
Nearly a dozen cities across the U.S. are also issuing proclamations declaring November 18th National Injury Prevention Day, including the cities of Coralville, Iowa City, and North Liberty, Iowa.
In Iowa City, other sites will light up green: The Park Road bridge by Hancher Auditorium, the stage on the Pedestrian Mall downtown, and the new public works building. The city of Coralville will light green the roundabout outside the Xtream Arena entrance.
Coralville Mayor John Lundell, who worked in the injury prevention field for over 20 years, said, “Coralville strives to be a ‘safe community’ in all areas such as public safety, traffic safety, and pedestrian and bicycle safety, so it is important to highlight injury prevention awareness among our residents, businesses, and employees.”
Roth said the yearly Preventing Childhood Injury Conference, hosted at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, brings together safety experts, researchers, and public health agencies across the state to share knowledge, expertise and resources.
“This is a great opportunity to learn more about community-based safety strategies,” she said. “Injury prevention messages and programs are most impactful when they are delivered in a coordinated way.”
Published November 17, 2020
Past UI IPRC blog posts focusing on child injury prevention: