Injury Free Coalition for Kids to Launch First National Injury Prevention Day: November 18

November 2, 2020

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, children are dealing with another crisis. Injuries are the leading cause of death and disability to U.S. children from 1 to 18 years old. Every day, 20 children die from preventable injuries, resulting in more deaths than all other diseases combined. 

On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, The Injury Free Coalition for Kids based in the Center for Injury Science and Prevention at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, will launch the inaugural “National Injury Prevention Day” to raise awareness about the significance of injury and advocate for prevention. Doctors, nurses, and community outreach personnel at close to 40 Level I Trauma Centers around the country will join forces that day, each in their own way addressing the injuries most prevalent in their communities.  

“Our children are needlessly dying,” explained Dr. Barbara Barlow, the Coalition’s Founder and Executive Director. “Many of these injuries are preventable with the use of education, safety practices and equipment, and the implementation of strong legislation.” Barlow is also Special Lecturer and Professor Emerita of Surgery Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School

On the evening of November 18, the Hemsley Building on Park Avenue in New York, the Johns Hopkins dome in Baltimore, and the Prudential Building in Boston, and bridges in Arkansas and Houston will be among many places lit up in green lights to raise awareness.  Several cities will focus on a specific preventable injury: San Diego will address child drownings, Kansas City will address fire safety, Nashville will look at home safety, and Peoria, Illinois will address child car passenger safety. 

In addition to activities in the country’s Level 1 Trauma Centers, The Coalition will host a live one hour Twitter chat on November 18 at 1:00 pm EST to discuss the urgent need to prevent injuries and how everyone can play a role. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #BeInjuryFree. Topics to be discussed include injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes, poisoning, safe storage of firearms, the need for safe sleep, home safety, holiday safety and other injuries often seen in emergency departments across the country.  

The Injury Free Coalition for Kids is a hospital-based, community-oriented injury prevention program whose efforts are anchored in research, education, and advocacy. Each Coalition site has independent, physician-led programs driven by the coalition’s mission: Preventing injury to children. While research identifies location, prevalence, and severity of the injuries, they most often occur in urban and rural environments. Coalition members work to empower the diverse populations who live there and address the injuries most prevalent in the communities they serve. 

The Coalition is among the country’s most effective injury prevention programs and is comprised of over 42 sites located in Level 1 Trauma Centers in 30 states across the country with representation in all of the U.S. Federal Trauma Regions. 

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