I recently came across a new review article on child injury prevention by Drs. Brian Johnston and Beth Ebel at University of Washington. In it, they describe that although overall unintentional injury death among US children aged 0-19 years in 2000-2009 fell by 30%, there is still much work to be done.
Decade of Action
While culture may be different and the specifics of restraint best practices may vary, at the core, optimizing protection of children in motor vehicle crashes is an international priority. To this end I, along with colleagues at SAFER, the Vehicle and Traffic Safety Research Center at Chalmers University in Göteborg, Sweden, organized an international strategy session titled “Child Occupant Protection: Latest Knowledge and Future Opportunities.” The planning group brought together international leaders in the fields of child occupant protection, biomechanics and auto safety from the US, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Spain and France for an intense two-day brainstorming September 6-7 in Sweden.
As a certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician and an Outreach Specialist here at CIRP@CHOP, I help researchers translate research findings into practical recommendations and messages. To effectively reach our end users, which are typically parents, we need to consider how their beliefs and motivations impact how they receive and interpret our messages. I recently read a post on the Safe Kids blog that put this idea into practice on a global scale.
For the past two weeks, I was the guest of Chairman Avi Na’or, CEO Shmuel Aboav, Dr. Tsippy Lotan and other road safety heroes at the Or Yarok, the leading road safety organization in Israel. What an amazing experience and an honor. My trip included a speaking engagement at the Or Yarok national road safety conference and involved meetings with Or Yarok researchers, academics, entrepeneurs and others from around Israel and leaders in governmental agencies (including the Israel National Road Safety Authority and the Israel Institute for Health Policy).
My guest contributor Sharon Levi, Beterem. Backover crashes are common in the Arab community in Israel; in the years 2007-2010, 38 children died in backover crashes in this community. This is due to a lack of play areas away from vehicles, children playing near vehicles without supervision, and a lack of knowledge regarding the methods to prevent these crashes.
Last week I blogged about Beterem, a national child safety organization in Israel, and its successful research-to-action model. As I traveled about Israel over the past two weeks, I captured some of Israel's road safety work in action as well as daily life unfolding.
I was truly inspired when I met with my friends, Orly Siblinger and others, from Beterem over the past few days in Petah Tikvah, Israel. This was my third visit with this wonderful organization, and I am always impressed with their work.