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Reducing unintentional injuries in children through prevention programming

Each year, more than 2,000 children 18 and under in Southeast Michigan are hospitalized for preventable injuries (MDHHS, 2024). Even more startling – unintentional injuries were the leading cause of death in children ages one to 14 in 2022 (CDC).

These statistics emphasize the importance of supporting programs that reduce unintentional injuries in children. The Children’s Foundation supports programs that deliver injury prevention presentations and safety equipment to high-risk communities in the Detroit region. By increasing parent and caregiver knowledge about child safety and equipping them with the safety tools required to keep their children safe, these programs can help keep kids free from harm.

Since 2022, The Children’s Foundation has provided over $280,000 to community partners including Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Wayne State University to support programs that help reduce unintentional injuries and deaths in children.

Car Seat Safety

Earlier this Spring, the Foundation supported a Car Seat Safety Check in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Injury Prevention Program to promote child passenger safety. During this community event, nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians inspected car seats for expiration, manufacturer recalls, and/or proper fit of the seat for the child. In total, 50 car seats were provided for children who did not have one or needed replacement because they were unsafe, ensuring each child was properly and safely fitted in a car seat.

Opportunities like this are especially meaningful to caregivers like Eden of Detroit who was using a hand-me-down car seat for her 10-month-old granddaughter, Katrina. Upon evaluation, technicians discovered the car seat was recalled. A new car seat was installed, and Eden received instructions on how to properly secure Katrina.

“It has been a long time since I’ve had to care for a baby, and so much has changed in that time,” said Eden. “I am thankful that Katrina will be safe and secure now in case of an accident.”

In 2023, the Injury Prevention Program helped more than 1,000 families keep their children safe in the event of a car accident, checking over 500 car seats to ensure they were properly installed, and providing more than 650 car and booster seats to children who did not have a proper seat.

Burn Safety

The Children’s Foundation also supports the Hospital’s Injury Prevention Team fire prevention and burn safety program, which providesburn safety materials, anti-scald devices, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and fire escape ladders that allow families to keep their children safe at home.

Last year, the program provided more than 1,200 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to families that did not have one in their home along with fire prevention education. Over 2,000 anti-scald safety devices were provided to families along with education to prevent scald burns by setting their hot water heater temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping children away from hot liquids.

Poison Safety

In Michigan, in 2022, 42% of accidental poisonings occurred in children under the age of five, and 92% of accidental poisonings occurred in the home (America’s Poison Centers, 2024). Accidental poisonings can be a result of children accessing medications, household cleaning products, nicotine in e-cigarettes, and edible cannabis. Kids can access dangerous substances in purses, on counters, and in other areas of the home.

One way to prevent accidental poisoning is through increasing community outreach and education efforts. Through a partnership with the Michigan Poison & Drug Information Center at Wayne State University, the Foundation enables the distribution of poison prevention educational materials to families and caregivers. These educational materials are age-appropriate and available in eight languages, ensuring all of Michigan’s diverse populations can access poison prevention information.

 In 2023, more than 30,000 educational items were distributed at over 35 community outreach events, reaching over 5,500 families, educators, and professionals. As a result, countless kids will be kept safe from accidental poisonings.

The Children’s Foundation believes that every child deserves a healthy life, and each day, we work to support impactful programs that create long-lasting, meaningful change that improves the lives of children. Injury prevention efforts like these empower communities with resources and education to keep kids safe, improving health and health equity for kids today and into the future.

Help us improve the health and wellness of more children and families.

You can help us reach more children and families by making a gift to The Children’s Foundation. Click here to make your gift.

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Reducing unintentional injuries in children through prevention programming