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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Safe Kids Florida

Contact the Injury Prevention Program

Vision: Safe Kids Florida will be a recognized statewide advocate for children's safety and the prevention of unintentional injury.

Mission: The mission of Safe Kids is to reduce the number of unintentional childhood injuries and deaths that occur in Florida to children ages 19 and under.

Overview

Each year, approximately 1 out of 10 Florida children, ages 19 and under, are injured seriously enough to require a visit to the emergency department or admission to the hospital for medical treatment. Safe Kids Florida is part of Safe Kids Worldwide. The Florida Department of Health, Injury Prevention Program, is the lead organization for Safe Kids Florida. There are currently 11 local Safe Kids coalitions and 6 Safe Kids chapters located throughout Florida. Eighty-one percent of Florida’s children ages 19 and under live in a county where Safe Kids operates.

Did You Know?
In 2012, the childhood unintentional injury fatality rate in Safe Kids counties was 47.3% lower than the rate in non-Safe Kids counties which corresponds to 191 fewer deaths than expected had the fatality rates been the same.

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How Do We Fullfill Our Mission?

  • We promote awareness and education among child injury prevention advocates.
  • We support public policies and programs that reduce injuries among children and youth.
  • We provide safety education to children and youth in the major risk areas of traffic safety, water safety, fire safety, poisoning and falls prevention.

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Local Coalitions and Chapters

Local coalitions and chapters provide leadership to their communities and work to reduce unintentional childhood injury and death. They identify and target the most common injury problems in their local areas. Then, by combining the resources of their diverse membership, they plan and put into operation strategies to address those problems by:

  • Educating adults and children
  • Creating safe environments
  • Conducting research
  • Advocating for effective laws

Coalition and chapter members reach out to their local communities with injury prevention messages, safety devices, and hands-on training. Through grassroots efforts, Safe Kids Florida programs reach families.

Safe Kids Florida Local Coalitions and Chapters Map

Safe Kids Florida is responsible for:

  • Providing technical assistance to the Safe Kids Floridalocal chapters and coalitions
  • Seeking resources to support the Safe Kids Florida local chapters and coalitions

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity.  Instead, contact this program by phone or in writing.

For more information, please contact the local coalition or chapter in your area, the Safe Kids Florida Coordinator or call 850-245-4982.

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Safe Kids Advisory Board

The Advisory Board are individuals from various organizations who assist the Injury Prevention Program in Safe Kids Florida strategic planning, plan implementation, safety messaging, and identifying chapter and coalition resources. The following members serve on the Safe Kids Florida Advisory Board:

  • Curtis Cobb, Jr., Health and Safety Chair, Florida Parent-Teacher Association
  • Captain Nancy Rasmussen, Chief of Public Affairs, Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles
  • Brooks Rumenik, Office of Safe Schools, Florida Department of Education
  • Michele M. King, BS, CCLS, Director, Child Advocacy Program, Children’s Hospital of SW Florida, and Safe Kids Lee/Collier
  • Ralph M. Salvas, Occupant Protection Grant Manager, Roadway Safety Grant Manager, State Child Passenger Safety Manager, Florida Department of Transportation
  • Barbara Ray, Division of Childrens’ Medical Services, Florida Department of Health
  • Gwendolyn B. Worlds, Manager of Consumer Assistance and Outreach, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Natasha Diemer, Marketing Director, Leopold Law
  • Kelly Powell, Safe Kids Palm Beach
  • Carlos A. Latour, Zone Manager, Zone 3111 Florida/Caribbean, General Motors Corporation
  • Alexis Kagiliery-Lee, (Ex-Officio Member), Safe Kids Worldwide, Buckle-Up Program Manager, East Coast Operations
  • Mary B. Crew, (Safe Kids Florida Lead Agency), Safe Kids Florida Program Coordinator, Injury Prevention Program, Florida Department of Health 
  • Lisa VanderWerf-Hourigan, (Safe Kids Florida Lead Agency), Director, Injury Prevention Program, Florida Department of Health

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Safe Kids Worldwide

Safe Kids Worldwide is a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children, the number one killer of kids in the United States. Around the world, a child dies from an unintentional injury every 30 seconds.  Every year, preventable injuries kill almost 1 million children around the world. And millions of children are injured in ways that can affect them for a lifetime.

Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 600 coalitions in the United States and partners with organizations in 23 countries around the world to reduce injuries from motor vehicles, sports, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more.

Safe Kids Worldwide supports research, development, and implementation of various preventative safety programs to meet the injury needs through the 16 member countries, including the United States.

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Since 1988, when Safe Kids was founded by Dr. Marty Eichelberger of the Children’s National Medical Center with support from founding sponsor, Johnson & Johnson, there has been a 55 percent decrease in the unintentional injury rate among children 19 years and younger.

Florida Childhood Injury Facts

  • Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death among Florida’s children ages 19 and under
  • During 2011, approximately 400,000 children were treated for injuries in Florida hospital emergency departments (419,394)
  • Total emergency department charges in 2011, to treat Florida’s injured children ages 19 and under was over $700 million ($786,038,719)
  • Approximately 8,700 of Florida’s children were taken to a hospital because of injuries in 2011
  • Total hospital inpatient charges in 2011 to treat Florida’s injured children ages 19 and under was over $330 million ($330,847,089)

For additional data, please see the Florida Injury Surveillance Data System page.

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