Niswonger Children’s Hospital recognizes Safe Kids Week
JOHNSON CITY – The Niswonger Children’s Hospital Children’s Resource Center is recognizing Safe Kids Week in conjunction with two regional branches of Safe Kids Worldwide.
To mark Safe Kids Week, the Children’s Resource Center partnered with the Kingsport Fire Department to offer a car seat safety checkpoint. Additionally, Niswonger Children’s Hospital has shared safety and wellness resources throughout the week on topics ranging from water safety to bike helmet safety.
“Safe Kids Week is a chance for us to get out into the community and educate our neighbors – one at a time – to prevent tragedies,” said Tara Chadwell, director of the Children’s Resource Center. “If we can prevent one death with our outreach, we’ve accomplished our job.”
Each year, more than 8,000 families in the United States lose a child to a preventable injury, a figure Safe Kids Worldwide aims to change through education and community support.
The Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network leads two branches of Safe Kids Worldwide – Safe Kids Northeast Tennessee, covering 10 Northeast Tennessee counties, and Safe Kids Heart of Appalachia, which covers counties in Southwest Virginia. Each coalition of Safe Kids is dedicated to providing resources and information to community members to address preventable injuries and deaths sustained from incidents such as drowning, burns, falls, traffic injuries and poisonings.
“Summer is coming up, and as kids get more active outside, it’s important that we keep them safe while they have fun,” Chadwell added. “Our best tool to prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening is educating not only parents, but the entire community, so everyone is armed with the tools and knowledge to keep our children safe.”
To address safety concerns that are unique to different areas across the world, Safe Kids Worldwide operates with more than 400 coalitions across the country. This model allows the organization to serve the needs that are unique to different communities, including the Appalachian Highlands.
Safe Kids Northeast Tennessee covers Washington, Sullivan, Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, Greene, Hawkins, Hancock, Hamblen and Cocke counties, and it focuses on three age-specific groups – Safe Starts for newborns through age 4, Safe Kids for children ages 5-10 and Safe Teens and Tweens for children 11-18. These focus groups allow Safe Kids Northeast Tennessee to develop programming and initiatives catered to the needs of different age groups.
Safe Kids Heart of Appalachia is a newly-established coalition of the organization and includes the City of Norton and Scott, Lee, Dickenson and Wise counties in Southwest Virginia. The coalition will work to identify and alleviate injury-related concerns in the different communities across Southwest Virginia through partnerships with other community organizations in the region.
Throughout the year, the Niswonger Children’s Network also partners with community members in addition to Frontier Health and coordinated school health programs across the Appalachian Highlands to provide information and resources to community members for best child safety practices.
For more information on Safe Kids Week, please visit www.safekids.org, and follow Niswonger Children’s Hospital social media pages for safety tips and resources on water safety, heatstroke prevention, medication safety, child passenger safety and fire safety.
More information about the children’s network and Niswonger Children’s Hospital is available at https://www.balladhealth.org/pediatrics/niswonger-childrens-network