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 Montana Infant Swim.
Montana Infant Swim is proud provider of Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) Self-Rescue Swimming Lessons. ISR lessons help children and families learn how to be safe in and around water by developing layers of protection. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children under age 5 nationally, and the second leading cause of unintentional death for this age group in Montana. Formal swimming lessons have been associated with an 88% decrease in the risk of drowning. Montana Infant Swim educates families about water safety to prevent them from suffering the tragedy of drowning and to attain the necessary skill to be safe and enjoy the water.
“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