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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 12, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 25
CARES Safety Center gets national injury prevention award

By Kenna Lowe
School of Public Health

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Baltimore City Fire Department have received the Nicholas Rosecrans Award, a national injury prevention award. The two groups led a partnership to create the CARES Safety Center, a 40-foot safety education vehicle. Designed as a house on wheels, the van contains fun, interactive exhibits and low-cost safety products. Traveling throughout Baltimore City, the mobile unit has provided more than 6,000 visitors with life-saving information about injury risks in the home and how to avoid them.

The Nicholas Rosecrans Award is given jointly by EPIC Medics, Journal of Emergency Medical Services, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Laerdal Medical and the Red Flash Group. The award, named after Nicholas Rosecrans, a young boy who drowned in San Diego County, Calif., recognizes emergency responders who collaborate with agencies, organizations and citizens to promote injury prevention. The award was presented March 10 in Baltimore at the EMS Today Conference and Exposition, the largest event in the United States for EMS providers. An upcoming issue of JEMS will feature an article about the CARES Safety Center.

Andrea C. Gielen, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, said, "Injuries are the leading cause of death for children, and more than 1,000 Baltimore children are hospitalized each year-about three children every day-as a result of largely preventable injuries from house fires, burns, poisonings, falls and traffic accidents. This award helps shed light on the enormous public health problem of childhood injuries that we are working to address."

The CARES Safety Center, which was officially unveiled in July 2004, resembles a typical home, with a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and stairway set up to illustrate potential hazards and preventive measures. Safety educators from the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Baltimore City Fire Department use interactive exhibits in each area to teach parents and their children how to prevent burns, falls, strangulation, poisoning and other unintended injuries. The vehicle is also equipped with an inventory of safety products-including car seats, bicycle helmets, safety gates and cabinet locks-that are offered for sale at below-retail costs.

"Many people think child safety is just common sense. But how can that be if the information isn't common knowledge?" asked Eileen McDonald, Johns Hopkins Children's Safety Center's program director and associate scientist in the Bloomberg School's Department of Health, Behavior and Society. "Families need information about risks, education about the recommended safety behaviors and access to affordable products. The mobile safety center allows us to bring all of this to families in our community."

The mobile safety center is one of many research and service projects led by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. As one of only 12 CDC-funded centers of excellence in injury control research, the Hopkins Injury Center advances the science and practice of injury control through its research, service and educational mission.

Funding for the CARES Safety Center was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, BP, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Federal Emergency Management Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In-kind services and guidance were provided by a partnership council made up of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Maryland Science Center, Johns Hopkins Pediatric Trauma Center, Injury Free Coalition for Kids/Baltimore and parents living in East Baltimore.

For more information about the Johns Hopkins CARES Safety Center, or to schedule a visit, e-mail or call 410-955-4121.


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