Out of more than 600 state and local Safe Kids coalitions nationwide, Safe Kids St. Louis was recently named “Coalition of the Year,” one of the coveted Safe Kids Champion Awards. Safe Kids St. Louis is a program of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.
Safe Kids St. Louis places major emphasis on promoting safety and parent education throughout the St. Louis region. The coalition’s primary focus is child passenger safety. By working with the Missouri Department of Transportation, Safe Kids St. Louis maintains fitting stations and car-seat distribution and trains car-seat safety technicians. The Safe Kids St. Louis “Buckle Up Van” is available three nights a week in designated sites, providing car seat education and low-cost car seats. Last year, the Coalition distributed 725 reduced-cost car seats and checked more than 2,000 car seats throughout the region.
In addition to car seat safety, Safe Kids St. Louis emphasizes home and pedestrian/bike safety as well as infant sleep safety. Children have an opportunity to view safety examples in the home, including cooking and natural gas safety, through a home safety trailer called “Safety Central.” Bike safety features include a summer safety camp held in collaboration with the Chesterfield Police Department.
Safe Kids St. Louis stays busy promoting safe practices year-round. In the 2010 fiscal year, Safe Kids St. Louis participated in 70 events, providing safety information and services to more than 9,750 children.
“Safe Kids St. Louis would not have received this award without the outstanding efforts of all of the coalition members whose mission it is to keep children safe,” said Cathy Hogan, coordinator of Safe Kids St. Louis. “All of the hours of volunteerism and devotion to injury prevention initiatives make it clear to me that we have a caring community of people who make it a priority to provide children with the tools they need to protect themselves from injury. “
Safe Kids St. Louis will receive the award from Mitch Stoller, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide.
“Our staff in Washington relies on the dedicated, passionate and inspiring people at the local level who take our injury prevention messages out into their own communities,” says Stoller. “As a grassroots organization, we would not be able to deliver vital safety knowledge to parents and caregivers everywhere without our network of coalitions. Safe Kids St. Louis is a key ingredient to our success.”