Outside of the hospital walls, Lurie Children's is working to keep kids safe by preventing unintentional injuries.
Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger. Many more children suffer injuries that require treatment in the emergency department. Leading causes of injury include motor vehicle crashes, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires and falls. Childhood injury is predictable and preventable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers injury as "among the most under-recognized public health problem facing our country today".
The Injury Prevention & Research Center (IPRC) addresses the leading causes of injury to Illinois children through behavioral risk reduction and the promotion of safe physical and social environments.
Staff works closely with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids (IFCK) and Lurie Children's serves as a formal site for Safe at Play, Safe at Home and Stop the Falls campaigns. Lurie is the lead agency for the Safe Kids Chicago and Safe Kids Illinois coalitions. Members of each coalition include healthcare providers, government officials, law enforcement personnel, and social service agencies who create and implement injury prevention programming. Injury surveillance data from Lurie Children's Child Health Data Lab also helps to guide IPRC priorities and activities.
In 2017 alone, IPRC achieved the following milestones:
Car seat safety: Offered 59 car seat classes and distributed 1250 car seats through 25 community partners in connection with the Buckle Up Program
Playground safety: Conducted 42 playground safety checks at childcare centers that serve 4,203 children; built a playground at a Head Start center serving more than 400 children
Bicycle safety: Distributed 1,600 bicycle helmets
Home safety: Distributed 1,800 home safety bags, 700 window safety devices and 650 smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Poison control: Lurie Children's is an Urban Pediatric Satellite Education Network site for Illinois. As part of the satellite network, we educate parents and caregivers about poison prevention and encourage them to call the Illinois Poison Center with poison question and concerns.
Knee injury prevention: Trained more than 700 coaches and taught 1,000 athletes how to reduce the likelihood of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries through the Knee Injury Prevention Program (KIPP) through the Institute for Sports Medicine at Lurie Children's.
Concussion protocol: Provided "Return to Learn" training for approximately 1,000 school administrators, teachers and nurses to help them care for children who experience concussions.
Positive Youth Development: Partner with Chicago Youth Programs to improve the health and life opportunities for at risk youth through co-located healthcare and workplace tutoring, and with the Center for Childhood Resilience (CCR) to build resilience in children by addressing their mental health needs.
Association Director, IPRC