Safe Kids Missoula Coalition
Safe Kids Missoula Coalition is dedicated to protecting kids from unintentional injuries—the #1 cause of death to children in the United States—through action-based education, awareness and planning to reduce traffic injuries, drowning, child gun access, falls, burns, poisonings and more.
The Missoula Coalition was established in 1991 and has been led by Foundation for Community Health since 2014. Efforts of this year have grown the Coalition to include local safety experts and volunteers from more than 30 nonprofit and government agencies.
Why it Matters
When a child dies or is seriously hurt as the result of a preventable injury, families’ lives are changed forever. But, the important thing to remember about preventable injuries is that they are preventable. Since Safe Kids Worldwide was founded in 1988, the unintentional injury rate among children has decreased by 60 percent. The efforts of more than 400 coalitions across the U.S. provide families with information and resources they need to keep children safe.
From July 2015 through June 2016, Safe Kids Missoula delivered hands-on education and take-action information to more than 7,000 kids and family members through community events, safety clinics, educational sessions, child passenger seat checks and our annual Safe Kids Fair. The dedication of our partners made possible seven smoke detector installations, 29 medication locking caps, 150 gun locks, 176 fitted children’s helmets and more than 230 car seat safety checks, all to help prevent childhood injury.
Partners dedicated to preventing childhood injury are welcome to join the Safe Kids Missoula Coalition. When we talk about preventing injuries, we’re not talking about skinned knees, bruised shins and scraped elbows. Those are telltale signs of a curious child exploring the world, pushing limits and seeking adventure. The Safe Kids Missoula Coalition knows there are things we can do to ensure those bumps and bruises don’t turn into disabling injuries and deaths, because no family should ever lose a child to a preventable injury. We invite you to join the Coalition’s efforts to reduce childhood injuries so that children in western Montana have the chance to grow up healthy and safe, and experience all the great things about childhood.
To support or volunteer with the Safe Kids Missoula Coalition, please contact the Foundation for Community Health at (406) 926-2522 or fill out an online application.
Safe Kids Spotlight
Each month, we feature one of our Coalition partners and share information about the important work they do to make safety a community priority in western Montana. This month, our Safe Kids Spotlight is on Child Development Center.
Child Development Center (CDC) partners with families whose children have developmental delays or disabilities, supporting their needs where they live, grow and play. Play is an important part of CDC’s approach, and critical to a child’s healthy development. Because play has such a big role in a child’s life, it’s important to make sure the toys they play with are safe and developmentally appropriate. Approximately 500 children age 15 and under are seen in emergency departments each day for a toy-related injury. To help protect children, read toy labels and instructions to make sure they are age-appropriate. Check for choking hazards and small parts — including batteries– that may make their way into a child’s mouth. Finally, make sure children are protected on riding toys such as bikes and scooters by always wearing a helmet.
“I learned that bike helmets are not meant for skate boarding because the injuries are different with each sport– I didn’t even know!”
– One of the 2016 Missoula Safe Kids Fair attendees