Safe Kids Oklahoma, led by Bethany Children’s Health Center, may not be The Avengers or Justice League, but nonetheless it is a gathering place for superheroes! This dedicated team works to protect children from preventable injuries.
Unintentional injuries are the #1 killer of children in the U.S. and in Oklahoma. The Pediatric Medical Rehabilitation Unit (PMRU) at Bethany Children’s Health Center treats children of all ages who have sustained serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and multiple trauma injuries. These tragedies can have devastating effects on families and limit the futures of injured children.
The Safe Kids Oklahoma heroes swoop into communities saying, “Stop! Preventable injuries do not need to happen!” They are equipped with the resources needed to fight this battle and are dedicated to ensuring every child can live the abundant life that God has designed for them.
Director of Safe Kids Oklahoma, Elizabeth Koldoff, explains, “We recognize that we have a higher calling that underscores a message of hope to the families we serve. We want each child we encounter to know that they have value, and our safety messages may give them the very best possible future they could have.”
Like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, each of the Safe Kids Oklahoma programs have unique superpowers. The Child Passenger Safety Program educates families about keeping their children safe in appropriate car seats. Studies have shown that three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly. A motor vehicle crash can happen to anyone, so it is vital that our children are secure and safe. The Bike and Pedestrian Safety Program teaches the basics of bike and pedestrian safety in elementary schools throughout the state. Teen Pedestrian Safety programs also reach school groups, where the message “Heads up and phones down” encourages teens to be aware while out in the community. The ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) Safety Program collaborates with other heroes at OU Health and the Oklahoma State Department of Health to raise awareness about how to prevent injuries and death from ATV and side-by-side recreational vehicles. Statistics show that wearing a helmet decreases the chance of death by 49percent. Experts in the ATV field bring safety messages and hands-on instruction to schools and youth organizations in urban and rural settings.
The survivors of childhood tragedies are seen every day at Bethany Children’s Health Center. While the Hospital strives to provide the highest level of care and rehabilitation for patients, the mission of Safe Kids Oklahoma is to eliminate these injuries whenever possible. These unsung heroes work tirelessly to provide education and resources so that every child can grow up and reach their full potential.