Safe Kids Minnesota LogoSafe Kids Minnesota – A Brief History

Coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council, Safe Kids Minnesota works in partnership with seven chapters and more than 250 organizations and individuals throughout the state dedicated to preventing unintentional injuries to children ages 14 and under.

During the past 25 years, Safe Kids programs across the nation have contributed to a 45 percent reduction in the child death rate from unintentional injury – saving an estimated 38,000 children's lives. In Minnesota, the average annual number of unintentional injury deaths among 1 – 14-year-olds has dropped from 85 to 60 since the mid-nineties. However, unintentional injury still remains the number one killer of children in the United States and in Minnesota. The leading causes of injury death among Minnesota children are motor vehicle crashes, drowning, fires and/or burns, suffocation and pedestrian related incidents.

The timeline below charts a number of significant events in child safety in Minnesota over the past decade. Additional successes that have helped to improve the overall safety of children include tailored, year-round outreach events with Minnesota Safety Council member companies to educate workers and community members about a variety of safety issues; annual Safe Kids Walk this Way pedestrian safety initiatives with elementary schools in conjunction with International Walk to School Day every October; Safe Kids Week outreach in April/May reminding adults about effective steps to help keep children safe during the "trauma season" (summer months); and active public policy work focused on upgrading the Minnesota child passenger safety law.

Highlights in Children's Safety, Minnesota, 1987 - 2009

1987: National SAFE KIDS Campaign is launched

1988: The Minnesota Safety Council convenes key safety partners to form Safe Kids Minnesota.

1989: We take the lead on garage door safety legislation in Minnesota, which is subsequently used as a model for federal legislation.

1990: President George H. W. Bush names Safe Kids Minnesota one of his "thousand points of light."

1991: A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant supports work with tribal agencies to develop and implement a comprehensive injury prevention program on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

1992: Safe Kids Minnesota is named Outstanding Ongoing Program of the National Safe Kids Campaign.

1992: Northwest Metro Safe Kids Coalition is formed.

1993: We produce a comprehensive "how to" guide on developing and implementing safety camps and distribute it nationally.

1994: A three year partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, its magnet school and 3M culminates in the publication of a student-to-student curriculum on traffic safety titled Safe Kids on the Move.

1995: St. Paul/Ramsey County Safe Kids chapter is formed.

1996: We are one of five coalitions nationwide chosen to participate in a holiday toy safety campaign.

1997: Safe-a-Rooni, an interactive telephone line for children, is launched.

1998: We offer programs to make high quality bike helmets easily available and affordable, with a focus on low-income families.

1998: Anoka County Safe Kids chapter is formed.

2000: First Subway sez Safe-a-Rooni event provides interactive safety activities and hands-on education for kids. 2000: In partnership with the St. Paul/Ramsey County chapter, we establish car seat check-up stations in St. Paul and participate in car seat clinics throughout the state.

2001: The Safe-a-Rooni phone line migrates to the Internet as the Safe-a-Rooni Web site for children.

2002: Three new local Safe Kids chapters are formed: Twin Ports (Duluth-Superior); Mahube (Mahnomen, Hubbard and Becker counties) and Hennepin County.

2003: Northeastern Minnesota and St. Cloud Safe Kids chapters formed.

2004: With funds from National Safe Kids we help translate the "Follow the Footsteps of Fire Safety" educational video into Spanish in partnership with St. Paul Department of Fire and Safety Services.

2005: Safe Kids Minnesota and the Hennepin County Medical Center's Injury Free Coalition for Kids organize the Twin Cities Safety Summit for organizations involved in child safety.

2006: In partnership with AAA Minnesota/Iowa we develop CarSeatsMadeSimple.org, a multi-lingual Web site designed to help empower parents and reduce the strain on community-based car seat clinics.

2007: "Child Safety Seats" public television program produced in six languages in partnership with the ECHO Minnesota Collaborative and Twin Cities Public Television and is distributed nationwide on DVD. This resource, and the CarSeatsMadeSimple Web site receive national recognition from Safe Kids Worldwide ("Outstanding Child Passenger Safety Program") and the National Safety Council ("Outstanding Community Safety Campaign").

2009: In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, AAA Minnesota/Iowa and the American Society of Safety Engineers, Northwest Chapter we host an invite-only Childhood Injury Summit. Key individuals with a stake in child safety gathered to help chart a strategic direction for childhood injury prevention efforts in Minnesota for the next several years.

2009: Safe Kids Minnesota is one of 20 Safe Kids affiliates invited to participate in the Marine Corps Marathon to raise awareness of childhood injury and funds to support life-saving programs.

2010: With funding from the American Society of Safety Engineers, Northwest Chapter, Safe Kids Minnesota launched a childhood injury webinar series. The inaugural webinar focused on youth sports concussion issues.

2010: Distributed 300 booster seats to families in need at a Como Zoo Safety Event sponsored by Regions Hospital, KS-95/KSTP-TV and AAA Minnesota/Iowa.

2010: Hosted the second annual Childhood Injury Summit in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health. Local and national experts challenged attendees to look at the issue of childhood injury prevention from a new perspective.

2011: In partnership with AAA, developed Good Going! Adventures in Safety – a single-issue magazine inspired by Highlights for Children, that blends safety information with games, stories, puzzles and vivid illustrations addressing common injury areas for children.

2011: With support from a Safe Kids USA grant and in partnership with TRIA Orthopaedic Center, provided three youth sports safety clinics aimed at athletes, parents, coaches and athletic trainers.

2011: Hosted the third annual Childhood Injury Summit. Sponsors included the Minnesota Department of Health, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Regions Hospital/Gillette Children's Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, Amplatz Children's Hospital, EMS for Children, and Johnson & Johnson. At the event a "Champion of Child Safety" award was presented to Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation and its president, Katey Taylor for significant contributions in advancing the prevention of childhood injury in Minnesota.

2012: Hosted the fourth annual Childhood Injury Summit. The event brought together practitioners from a variety of health and safety disciplines to focus on key concepts and effective strategies in childhood injury prevention. The event featured Commissioner of Health Edward Ehlinger and other experts. The "Champion of Child Safety" award was presented to Julie Philbrook, Trauma Prevention Specialist with Hennepin County Medical Center, for her 22 years of leadership and work in childhood injury prevention.

2012: Selected by Safe Kids Worldwide to receive funding to prevent television tip-overs and to promote safety on the way to school.

2012: In partnership with AAA Minnesota/Iowa and others, support was provided for the "I Got Caught" bicycle helmet safety program, which rewarded kids with a Dairy Queen gift certificate if they were "caught" wearing helmets.

2013: Hosted the fifth annual Childhood Injury Summit. Keynote speaker Torine Creppy, Chief Program Officer for Safe Kids Worldwide, Washington, D.C. Six poster session presenters highlighted their promising program practices in the areas of home safety, teen driving, water safety, concussion care, button batteries and pedestrian/biking safety. Minneapolis school patrol program coordinator Agent Antoine Berryman and AAA Minnesota/Iowa were recognized with "Champion of Child Safety" awards for significant contributions in preventing unintentional injuries to children.

2014: In partnership with AAA Minnesota/Iowa we refreshed carseatsmadesimple.org/, a multi-lingual website to help parents and caregivers with information and resources to support proper car seat selection and installation.

2014: Hosted the sixth annual Minnesota Childhood Injury Summit. Keynote speaker, Julie Gilchrist, MD, pediatrician and medical epidemiologist with the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC. Other sessions explored Minnesota-specific data and trends; rural childhood injury; cultural competence; and effective communication with children. Five poster sessions highlighted promising practices in the areas of fire safety, TV/furniture tip-over prevention, teen safe driving, and bicycle/pedestrian safety. Diana Van Wormer, RN, Regions Hospital was presented with the 2014 "Champion of Child Safety Award" for her many accomplishments in helping protect children from unintentional injuries.