Safekids Logo

1000 SW Jackson Suite 230
Topeka, KS 66612-1274
(785) 296-1223
(785) 296-8649 (FAX)

Coordinator:
Jan Stegelman

Executive Committee:
Randall Bolin
NHTSA Region VII

Dennis Cooley, MD
Medical Advisor
American Academy of
Pediatrics, Kansas
Chapter

John Drees
Douglas County
SAFE KIDS Coalition

John Halbran
Kansas Safety Belt
Education Office

Jim Keating
Kansas State
Firefighters Association

Elena Nuss
Kansas State
Fire Marshal's Office

Cindy Samuelson
Kansas Hospital Association

For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

First-Ever Summer Child Safety Report:
Vermont Leads the Nation, Kansas Ranks 31st

States ranked according to children's accidental injury deaths
in summer - a deadly time of year for children

According to The Safe Kids U.S. Summer Safety Ranking Report, a new study released today by Safe Kids Worldwide, Kansas ranks 31st out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the ranking according to children’s accidental injury deaths in summer – a deadly time of year for children.

Vermont led the nation with 1.63 children per 100,000 dying from accidental injury during summer. The study found that in Kansas, 4.8 children per 100,000 died from accidental injury during the summer, above the national average of 3.67 per 100,000, and a decrease of 21.9 percent over a five-year period.

“Clearly, we still have a long way to go, but this ranking does confirm the importance of our successes in motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian injury prevention,” said Jan Stegelman, coordinator of Safe Kids Kansas. “Working with parents, caregivers, policymakers and health care providers, we’ve made Kansas measurably safer for children over the past 15 years. Injury prevention saves lives, and we need to continue our efforts to reduce the toll accidental injury takes on all Kansans.”

Release of this study coincides with the kick-off of National Safe Kids Week in the United States, April 28 to May 6, 2007, and the start of summer, known by emergency personnel as “trauma season,” since preventable accidental deaths and serious injuries to children increase dramatically.

The five highest-ranking states were all found in the northeast – Vermont (#1), New Jersey (#2), the District of Columbia (#3), New York (#4) and Delaware (#5). The five lowest-ranking states were Wyoming (#51), Alaska (#50), South Dakota (#49), West Virginia (#48) and Nebraska (#47).

The study reports that an average of 17 children a day, or 2,143 children in total, died from May to August in 2004 due to injuries, many of which could have been prevented. Also in 2004, 2.4 million children made emergency room visits due to accidental injuries, many of which resulted in paralysis, brain damage and other serious disabilities.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia were ranked according to the number of summertime accidental injury deaths per 100,000 children (ages 0 to 14) in their state, and the change in that rate over a five-year period (the average annual death rate for 1997-1999 vs. the average annual death rate for 2002-2004).

Underwritten by an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson, founding sponsor of Safe Kids Worldwide, the study was conducted by The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in collaboration with an expert advisory panel.

Previous Safe Kids Worldwide research indicates that five of the most common causes of children’s accidental injury deaths in summer are:

Drowning (increases 89 percent in the summer over the annual monthly average)
Biking (increases 45 percent)
Falls (increases 21 percent)
Motor vehicle passenger injuries (increases 20 percent)
Pedestrian injuries (increases 16 percent).

In fact, almost 60 percent of total children’s accidental injury deaths from May to August from 2001 to 2004 came from these risk areas. The report also demonstrates a 17.6 percent drop in children’s accidental injury deaths in summer across the nation (comparing data from 1997–1999 to 2002–2004), yet children’s accidental injury deaths continue to spike in the summer.

“The results should be a wake-up call to the states and the nation,” said Martin Eichelberger, M.D., chairman of Safe Kids Worldwide and director, Emergency and Burn Services at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “When a child dies every few hours from an accidental summer injury, many of which can be prevented, we have our work cut out for us.”

Safe Kids Kansas recommends the following steps to reduce accidental injury and death to children during the summer months:

  • Enact child safety legislation that prohibits children left alone in vehicles and ordinances requiring four-sided fencing around home pools.
  • Educate adults and children about the right precautions to take (for example, a properly-fitted helmet has proven to reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent);
  • Use safety devices, such as installing window guards on each window above the first floor to reduce the risk of falls; and
  • Strengthen the enforcement of existing child safety laws.

National Safe Kids Week has been held annually for 14 years. This year’s theme is Make It A Safe Kids Summer and is supported by Safe Kids Worldwide’s founding sponsor, Johnson & Johnson. Safe Kids Week events are taking place in more than 300 communities across the nation to educate parents and communities about how to keep kids safe during the summer. In addition, Johnson & Johnson is sponsoring an advertising campaign with Turner Broadcasting and distributing safety information at retail locations.

Safe Kids U.S. Summer Safety Rankings – April 2007


 

 

Unintentional Injury Deaths, May-August

 

 

Children Ages 0-14

 

 

 

Percent Change

 

 

Death Rate

in Death Rate

 

 

Rate/100,000

Over 5-year Period

State

Rank

2000-2004

97-99 to 02-04

Total US Average

 

3.67

-17.60%

Vermont

1

1.63

-60.30%

New Jersey

2

1.8

-39.50%

D.C

3

2.33

-49.10%

New York

4

1.97

-25.50%

Delaware

5

3.33

-34.30%

Massachusetts

6

1.51

-18.90%

Colorado

7

3.23

-31.40%

Rhode Island

8

1.58

-16.40%

Pennsylvania

9

2.91

-25.10%

California

10

2.59

-22.20%

Washington

11

3.17

-23.50%

Maryland

12

2.42

-16.90%

North Carolina

13

3.99

-26.70%

Georgia

14

4.43

-31.50%

Oklahoma

15

4.55

-30.90%

Wisconsin

16

3.75

-21.50%

Nevada

17

4.29

-23.30%

South Carolina

18

4.62

-26.40%

Arizona

19

4.77

-26.40%

Illinois

20

3.34

-11.00%

Connecticut

21

2.28

5.90%

Virginia

22

3.04

-8.40%

Texas

23

4.14

-15.50%

Montana

24

5.93

-32.30%

Idaho

25

5.96

-39.10%

Alabama

26

5.17

-31.50%

Ohio

27

3.45

-10.10%

Maine

28

3.22

-5.50%

Hawaii

29

2.75

21.90%

Michigan

30

4.32

-14.70%

Kansas

31

4.8

-21.90%

Arkansas

32

6.61

-29.20%

Minnesota

33

3.54

-8.00%

Florida

34

4.31

-10.50%

Oregon

35

4.25

-8.80%

Indiana

36

4.61

-14.70%

Iowa

37

3.81

-3.10%

New Hampshire

38

3.21

72.60%

Utah

39

4.73

-10.30%

Louisiana

40

5.94

-15.00%

Missouri

41

4.78

-9.00%

North Dakota

42

4.45

8.20%

New Mexico

43

5.08

-9.20%

Mississippi

44

7.37

-15.00%

Tennessee

45

4.89

-6.00%

Kentucky

46

5.13

-1.30%

Nebraska

47

4.88

43.30%

West Virginia

48

5.08

31.40%

South Dakota

49

8.47

16.80%

Alaska

50

7.73

32.90%

Wyoming

51

8.27

82.50%

For more information or for a copy of The Safe Kids U.S. Summer Safety Ranking Report, visit www.usa.safekids.org.

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide , a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury.

 

www.safekidskansas.org

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