Every year, children across the country are injured from preventable events. Safe Kids is a national organization dedicated to protecting kids from unintentional injuries, providing educational programming to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, and other tragedies.
Onslow County has a Safe Kids chapter that supports families in our community with car seat installation, car-seat check-ups, safety workshops, and other events to prevent childhood injuries.
“As a Safe Kids Coalition, we educate parents and the community about preventable childhood injuries,” says LaWanna Wooden, Safe Kids member and One Place’s Vice President of Program Integration. “That means we help parents understand important things, like the correct way to install a car seat or asking questions about that.”
“If it keeps one child from having something tipped on them, from being in an accident, from being burned, or from drowning, then we’ve achieved our goal,” Wooden shares.
Safe Kids is a free service to anyone in the Onslow County community. “We are a resource and I encourage parents and caregivers to reach out and learn more,” says Wooden.
59 percent of car seats are not installed correctly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To help strengthen the safety of our community members, Safe Kids Onslow provides car seats and car seat safety checks for families in need.
“With our car seat safety checks, we provide a demo and then observe parents installing the seat themselves. Our car seat technicians make sure that parents feel confident installing the seat before they leave,” says Wooden. “Our job is to educate parents and provide that light-bulb, a-ha moments about car seat safety.”
For Michele Pauls, a mother in Onslow County, getting help from a car seat technician was an informative and helpful experience. “When we had our daughter, my husband and I both worked with Safe Kids to learn how to install the car seat correctly,” Pauls says. “They were very helpful and insightful, not only in helping us install the seat but also in educating us on overall safety.”
The best part of working with Safe Kids was the “knowledge and patience” she received from the technician. “The entire process was so easy and helpful,” Paulsshares.
If you are looking to get your car seat checked, text “Safe Kids” to (910) 333-0608 to schedule an appointment with a child passenger safety technician.
Operation Medicine Drop
Ingesting a parent, sibling, or grandparent’s medicine is the leading cause of child poisoning in the United States. Each year, approximately 60,000 children are brought to the emergency room.
Operation Medicine Drop is a yearly event where families can drop off unwanted prescriptions or over-the-counter medications. This helps protect against accidental poisoning and drug abuse. It also helps protect local waters from contamination or toxicity.
Bring your unused, expired, or unwanted medications for safe—and anonymous!—disposal.
Fire Prevention Week
Each October, Safe Kids hosts a Fire Prevention event. During this programming, you can learn safety tips from Onslow County firefighters. “We partner with the Fire Department and the Fire Marshal, Brian Kelly, who helped navigate getting the Safe Kids Coalition started in Onslow County.”
At the yearly Fire Prevention event, Safe Kids brings together 10–15 different fire departments across the region. “Each truck will have a particular focus,” says Wooden. “From talking about preventing fires at home to stove safety and smoke alarm maintenance, it’s a very helpful and informative event for families.”
National Night Out
The City of Jacksonville, along with several community partners, hosts an annual National Night Out in August. This event is designed to celebrate the community and promote crime prevention. Open for all ages, National Night Out is a great opportunity for families to meet members of local law enforcement.
If you are passionate about helping protect children in Onslow County, you can volunteer with Safe Kids. Concerned citizens can join the Safe Kids board and contribute to keeping the next generation safe and healthy.
“We meet monthly for about an hour and our focus is on prepping for an event or discussing other risk areas we can work on as a group,” Wooden explains. “The hope is that parents are educated on these topics so they can share that information with others in the community.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities, reach out to Kara Darnell at (910) 938-1568. For more information on Safe Kids Onslow, follow along with us on Facebook here or view updated information on our coalition here.