Florida Suncoast SAFE KIDS Coalition
The Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition, established in 1991, is led by All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine, in St. Petersburg and serves five counties in the Tampa Bay area. It is an affiliate of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children, the No. 1 killer of kids in the United States. The Coalition unites health and safety experts, first responders, educators, local agencies, civic groups, businesses and volunteers from each community served.
Safe Kids Worldwide was founded in 1988 by Dr. Marty Eichelberger of the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. with support from founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson. Safe Kids Worldwide 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 unintentional childhood injuries and injury related deaths. Since 1988-with the tireless work and support of coalitions such as the Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition, Safe Kids Chapters, and worldwide partners and sponsors-there has been a 55% decrease in the unintentional injury rate among children 19 years and younger. But our work is not yet complete.
Each county elects officers who meet monthly with the Safe Kids membership to review child- hood injury data and to develop strategies to combat specific childhood injuries such as:
- Child Passenger and Occupant Protection Safety
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
- Medication Safety and Poison Prevention
- Fire, Burns and Scalds Prevention
The officers of each County meet quarterly to review the childhood injury data in each community to determine commonalities from which Coalition wide initiatives may be developed.
The three current Coalition wide objectives are:
- Decrease the number of drowning/near downing of children 5 years and younger
- Increase booster-seat usage in children up to 4-feet-9 and approximately 80 pounds
- Increase properly fitted bike and other wheeled sport-helmet usage in children younger than 16 years.