May 8, 2002
Injury is by far the leading cause of death from one to nineteen
years of age and kills an average of one child a week in Hawaii. This
and other data on the leading causes of injury to children in Hawaii
and strategies to prevent them are revealed in a new publication,
"Action Plan 2002, Protecting Our Children". The publication is a joint
effort of the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition/SAFE KIDS Hawaii
(KIPC), Department of Health, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and
Children, and other agency and community groups.
The publication is an easy-to-read guide for parents and community
members that outlines injury trends in Hawaii and provides a keiki
injury prevention plan that addresses motor vehicle safety, drowning
prevention, pedestrian, bike and skating safety, youth suicide, child
abuse, youth violence, playground and sports safety. It also includes
real life testimonials from individuals whose lives have been forever
changed by preventable injuries. Copies of the publication are
available from the DOH Injury Prevention and Control Program at (808)
The publication’s release coincides with National SAFE KIDS
Week (May 4-11), which this year focuses on preventing traumatic brain
Each year, thousands of kids are seriously injured or die as a
result of preventable TBI. In Hawaii, an average of 40 youths in
bicycle crashes alone are hospitalized at an average cost of $10,000
per injury, according to KIPC's Action Plan. Thirty percent of the
youths hospitalized suffer TBI with serious life-long consequences.
Helmet use reduces an estimated 85% of those head injuries, and in
Hawaii it's the law for kids under 16 to wear bike helmets.
To help kids prevent injuries and stay safe riding their bikes, KIPC is
partnering with the State Department of Health, HMSA, Honolulu Police
Department, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Pacific Sports Care
to conduct a Kids Right to Bike Rally and Safe Keiki Fair on Saturday,
May 11, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Ali’iolani Elementary School in
Kaimuki. Kids will get hands-on experience in safe riding practices,
including proper helmet use, and parents will also learn about the
importance of helmets, Hawaii's law on bicycle helmet use, and basic
bicycle safety principles.
"Kids need to know that a head injury can happen to them. It can
change the way they look, think and feel, and impact their lives
forever," said Speedy Bailey, KIPC President. "We encourage parents to
sit down with their children and discuss the long-term consequences and
risks associated with not wearing a helmet. Hawaii has a bike helmet
law for children under 16, but parents can empower their children to
wear a helmet right on every ride."
Other strategies in KIPC's Action Plan reinforce helmet, safe
bicycle and skating practices. These include reinforcing helmet use in
schools, advocating for bicycle stores to include helmets as part of
bicycle purchase, and expanding the existing bicycle helmet law to
include users of all wheeled vehicles.
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