Healthy Communities spearheaded the formation of Safe Kids Volusia/Flagler in 1996 in response to the incidence of pediatric drowning and near drowning victims seen in the emergency department at Halifax Health Medical Center. Today, Safe Kids Volusia/Flagler is comprised of more than 40 community agencies and is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations with a mission of preventing unintentional childhood injury, a leading cause of death and disability for children ages 14 and under.
Safe Kids Programs
Water Safety Instruction Program
In an effort to reduce the number of drowning and near drowning incidences, a top priority of the Coalition since its inception has been the provision of scholarships for economically disadvantaged children to receive basic water safety instruction. A limited number of scholarships are available annually for children to receive swimming lessons at an area YMCA or other community pool. There is a $5 registration fee for each scholarship recipient.
Wheel and Pedestrian Safety
Safe Kids Volusia/Flagler provides a limited number of free bicycle helmets to children at numerous community events and at the Healthy Communities office. When worn correctly, helmets are effective in reducing the risk of bicycle-related death and injury, and lessening the severity of head injury when a crash occurs. Bike rodeos are held each year, providing children with hands on instruction in collision avoidance, safe bike operation and helmet safety.
Child Car Seat Safety
Child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for children ages 1 to 4. Child safety seats reduce the need for hospitalization after a crash by 69 percent. However, when child restrains are used, nearly 73 percent are either not installed correctly or the child is not secured correctly in the seat. These critical misuses increase the risk of injury to a child in a crash.
Car seat checkup events are held at varying locations throughout Volusia and Flagler counties to help families ensure their car seats are correctly installed and their children are properly secured. Car seat inspections and installations are also offered by appointment at the Healthy Communities office. Call 386.425.7920 for dates, times and locations of events, or to make an appointment.
The National SAFE KIDS website is www.safekids.org