We’re Fighting the Number One Killer of Kids.  “If a disease were killing our children in the proportion that accidents are, people would be outraged and demand that this killer be stopped..” — C. Everett Koop, M.D., Chairman, National SAFE KIDS Campaign

Injury is the leading killer of our children.  Injuries kill more children each year than diseases, kidnapping and drugs combined. Approximately 7,200 children are killed and 50,000 disabled annually as a result of traffic accidents, burns, drowning, falls, choking, poisoning and other injuries. In Oklahoma, about 130 children through age 15 die each year from unintentional injuries. For every fatality, approximately 45 children require hospitalization and 1,300 require emergency treatment. The medical and lifetime costs of caring for those permanently injured amount to tens of billions of dollars. But the human costs and society’s loss of these children’s potential creativity and productivity cannot be measured.

Injury is Preventable.  We call them “accidents,” but unlike accidents, many childhood injuries can be predicted and prevented. The cure does not cost a lot or take much time. Ideas require the attention and effort of parents and other caregivers. We can’t prevent every bump, cut or scrape, but by learning and following some basic safety steps, we can greatly reduce the risk to our children. While public education and awareness is our strongest weapon against this killer, distributing safety information alone will not change attitudes or behavior and will not create safer environments. Parents, teachers, child care workers, and other caregivers need to know how they can provide a safer environment and better supervise the activities of children. Those who make public policy need to understand injury as a public health problem and explore ways they can help provide a safer overall environment in our state and nation. For example, state legislation requiring children to be buckled up while traveling by car is credited with saving many young lives and preventing more serious injuries.

Oklahoma SAFE KIDS: Working to Prevent Injury and Save Young Lives.  Oklahoma SAFE KIDS is a group of organizations and concerned citizens from across the state who began to mobilize in 1989 to fight the number one killer of children. Affiliated with the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, the Oklahoma SAFE KIDS Coalition is dedicated to helping raise public awareness among the general public and policy makers and assisting in the formation of local SAFE KIDS coalitions and chapters. Local coalition- and chapter-building is a priority, because the most effective education and problem-solving will be community-based. By pooling resources with other like-minded groups and individuals, and avoiding duplication of efforts, we can accomplish much more together than we ever could independently.

Please Join Us – The success of our state and local coalitions will depend on the support of volunteers who are committed to this cause. Here’s how you can help:

Join a standing committee (water safety, burn prevention, fundraising)
Sign on as a volunteer as needed for special events

Make a financial donation, large or small
Participate in our speakers’ bureau as a speaker; schedule a presentation

Coordinate a bicycle safety fair at your child’s school, church, or neighborhood
Distribute our literature to your employees, co-workers, PTA, etc.

Donate a film to our resource library or check one out for showing
Help organize a SAFE KIDS coalition or chapter in your community

Make sure everyone riding in your car buckles up
Contact your legislator, urging stronger child safety legislation

Start a car seat discount program in your area