Speak Up Focus Issue: Injury Prevention

Speak Up for Kids seeks to eliminate childhood injuries and keep children safe and healthy. To that end, we encourage you, as a community advocate committed to improving overall child health in Wisconsin, to advocate for policies at the state and federal level that will reduce the incidence of avoidable childhood injury.

Childhood injury includes both intentional and unintentional causes. Intentional causes of injury include assault, homicide, and suicide, while unintentional causes of injury include falls, motor vehicle and pedestrian/bicycle accidents, fire, and drowning. While both intentional and unintentional injuries are preventable, unintentional injuries tend to have solutions that are more easily implemented, often because they are "common-sense" approaches.

Why Is Injury Prevention an Area of Concern?

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children 14 years of age or younger, both in the United States and here in Wisconsin.

Each year, more than 5,600 children in this age range die in the United States, and more than 120,000 become disabled from unintentional injuries.

In Wisconsin, more than 80,000 children under the age of 14 visit the emergency room every year for unintentional injuries, and nearly 100 children in Wisconsin under the age of 14 die from them.

What Are the Ways We Can Help Reduce Injuries?

Solutions for reducing unintentional childhood injury in Wisconsin focus on correcting behaviors that lead to the root causes of these injuries. These behaviors involve both the children themselves and their parents and family.

For example, riding a bicycle without a helmet severely increases the likelihood of injury or death from an accident. By making sure that our children wear their helmets every time they ride, we can truly make a positive difference in their overall safety.

Parents have a direct role to play in preventing childhood injuries as well. Equipping our homes with smoke/carbon monoxide alarms and safety gates and making sure our children are secured in car seats (including boosters for older children) are just a couple of ways we can ensure the safety of our kids in Wisconsin.

What is American Family Children's Hospital Doing to Help?

Kohl's Safety Center

The goal American Family Children's Hospital Kohl's Safety Center offers a variety of child safety products and injury prevention education materials to families at the American Family Children's Hospital and throughout Wisconsin. At the Center, you can shop for products, receive educational materials and ask our trained staff questions about child safety. Most items are less expensive than at local retailers.

Madison Area Safe Kids Coalition

The mission of the Madison Area Safe Kids Coalition, staffed and managed by American Family Children's Hospital, is to prevent unintentional childhood injuries, the leading cause of death and disability among children ages 1-14. The Coalition serves to educate families, provide safety devices to families in need, and advocate for better laws to help keep children safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. The Madison branch is one of more than 600 state and local Safe Kids Coalitions in all 50 states.