About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University August 16, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 42
Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center Hits the Streets

Getting ready to send the Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center on its way are Mary Glenshaw, project director; Dawona Young, health educator; Lara Trifiletti, co-investigator; Eileen McDonald, co-investigator; and Andrea Gielen, principal investigator, all from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

By Tim Parsons
School of Public Health

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the Baltimore City Fire Department have launched the Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center to keep children safe from unintentional injury, the leading cause of death for children nationwide. A 40-foot vehicle built as a house-on-wheels, the mobile safety center contains fun interactive exhibits and low-cost safety products. It travels the streets of Baltimore to teach parents and caregivers about the injury risks children face in every home and how to prevent them. The vehicle was officially unveiled at a news conference held July 28.

The mobile safety center is a collaborative initiative of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Bloomberg School and is based on the success of the hospital-based Johns Hopkins Children's Safety Center.

"Many community and health care partners worked with us to develop this mobile version of our hospital-based center because they realized there was a great need for better access to safety information and more affordable safety products throughout the city," said Eileen M. McDonald, program director of the Children's Safety Center and assistant scientist in Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. "The mobile safety center will allow us to provide potentially life-saving education and safety products to many more families throughout Baltimore."

William J. Goodwin Jr., chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, said, "The Johns Hopkins Mobile Safety Center is a major contribution to the community because it provides a forum for education and empowerment to the citizens as well as assists the Fire Department in promoting our message about fire safety and prevention in the home, therefore decreasing the potential hazards."

The Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center resembles a typical home with a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and stairway to illustrate potential hazards and preventive measures. For example, a smoke generator and heating elements installed in a door simulate the conditions inside a home during a fire. Trained instructors from the Bloomberg School and the Fire Department use interactive exhibits in each of the rooms to teach parents and children how to prevent burns, falls, strangulation, poisoning and other unintended injuries in their homes and neighborhoods.

The vehicle also is equipped with an inventory of safety products, including car safety seats, bicycle helmets, safety gates and cabinet locks, which are offered for sale at below-retail costs.

The kitchen demonstrates the potential risk for burns.

"Our mission is to promote the safety of children and families by delivering fun interactive education and affordable safety products to the community. CARES stands for Children ARE Safe, and that is our ultimate goal," said Andrea C. Gielen, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and professor of health policy and management at the Bloomberg School. "Every year more than 1,000 Baltimore children are hospitalized as a result of an injury — that's almost three children every day who do not need to be suffering from these preventable injuries," Gielen says.

Grants from the National Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will allow Gielen and colleagues at Johns Hopkins to evaluate the impact of the project over the next two years.

The mobile safety center is funded in part by grants to the partners from BP, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. It was designed by the Mobile Safety Center Partnership, which includes the Maryland Institute College of Art, Maryland Science Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and Johns Hopkins Children's Safety Center in addition to the Baltimore City Fire Department and the Center for Injury Research and Policy. The vehicle was constructed by Lifeline Shelter Systems of Columbus, Ohio, and the educational exhibits were installed by Phoenixx Design Associates of York, Pa.

The Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center will be available at the East Baltimore Medical Center, 1000 E. Eager St., and by request at other community locations. For more information about the center or to schedule a visit, e-mail or call 410-955-4121.


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |