Safe Kids Upstate Report

Safe Kids Upstate releases report to the community, kicks off National Safe Kids Week
Friday, April 23, 2010
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Safe Kids Upstate released a report April 23 detailing the organization’s efforts over the past 15 years to reduce the number of accidental childhood injuries and save lives.
Since its inception in 1994, Safe Kids Upstate has contributed to a 25 percent reduction in deaths and a 17 percent reduction in accidental injuries. They have also helped reduce the number of motor vehicle deaths of children four years of age and under by 43 percent.
“Accidental childhood injury is the number one killer of children age 14 and under in the United States. And in South Carolina, a child dies every day as a result of an injury,” said Linda Brees, director of Safe Kids Upstate. “Ninety percent of these injuries could be prevented if families took the simple steps necessary to protect children.”
According to Brees, a helmet that fits well can reduce the risk of a head injury from a bike fall by as much as 85 percent. Proper use of a four-sided fence around a backyard pool can prevent up to 90 percent of child drowning and near drowning. And correctly-installed car seats reduce more than 70 percent of infant death.
In the past 15 years, Safe Kids Upstate has distributed more than 15,000 bicycle helmets, inspected more than 10,000 car seats and provided fire prevention and safety demonstrations to more than 125,000 children. And in the last two years, they have provided more than 500 cribs to families with an infant at risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or accidental suffocation through its Cribs for Kids program.
“We are seeing a decline in the number of visits to our emergency rooms thanks to Safe Kids Upstate, but more work needs to be done to further decrease the rate of unintentional injuries and deaths among children,” said Dr. Kevin Polley, medical director of children’s emergency services at Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System.
To help generate awareness that one in four children are at risk for accidental injury, four life-size silhouettes will be erected at all five GHS hospitals, the Greenville Zoo and Children’s Museum on April 25 – the start of National Safe Kids Week – and remain on display throughout the month of May.
“These silhouettes will serve as a roadside reminder that the reduction of accidental childhood injuries remains a top priority in our community,” said Brees. “And the timing couldn’t be more appropriate given that the upcoming summer months are the deadliest time of year for children 14 years of age and under.”
In addition, Safe Kids will host a number of free community events, including Safe Kids Fest on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University Center. The fest features 15 interactive safety exhibits and is sponsored by Young Office.
Other events include a bicycle helmet giveaway at the Greenville Drive game on May 14 and a free car seat inspection at GHS’ Patewood Medical Campus on May 15. Registration for the car seat check starts that day at 9:45 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m.
For more event information, visit
About Safe Kids Upstate
Safe Kids Upstate is led by GHS Children’s Hospital and is one of more than 450 coalitions affiliated with Safe Kids Worldwide. Safe Kids Upstate consists of more than 90 community partners who join together to fight unintentional injuries. Partners include law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics, medical professionals, educators and business and community leaders. To learn more, visit