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TO EXPRESS APPRECIATION TO GREENVILLE SAFE KIDS COALITION FOR TEN YEARS OF DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO THE STATE AND FOR PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN FROM UNINTENTIONAL CHILDHOOD INJURIES.
Whereas, a decade ago, Greenville was less safe for children. Eighty percent of kids rode their bicycles without helmets. About forty percent of older children traveled in motor vehicles without using a safety belt, and countless younger kids without a car seat. One of five families went to sleep each night without the benefit of a smoke alarm. In 1994, more than ten children died without these and other protections; and
Whereas, in 1994, unintentional childhood injury was the leading killer of children fourteen years of age and under in Greenville. To address what was a little recognized problem, Greenville SAFE KIDS Coalition was created; and
Whereas, since the inception of Greenville SAFE KIDS, there has been a dramatic twenty-four percent decline in the unintentional injury death rate among children fourteen years of age and under. The efforts of Greenville SAFE KIDS Coalition, under the leadership of GHS Children's Hospital have led to remarkable achievements in preventing childhood death and injury; and
Whereas, the Coalition's multifaceted effort, which includes public awareness, education, safety device distribution, enactment and enforcement of laws, and grassroots partnerships, embodies the countywide strategy that accounts for the progress; and
Whereas, in ten years there has been a fifty percent decline in the child pedestrian injury death rate, a ten percent decline in the child motor vehicle related death rate, a thirty-four percent decline in the death rate from childhood drowning, a fifty-three percent decline in the death rate from bicycle injuries, and a fifty-six percent decline in the residential fire related injury death rate. Dr. Kevin Polley, Medical Director of GHS Children's Emergency Center states, "We have seen a significant decrease in the number of emergency room visits resulting from unintentional injuries in recent years due to the work of Greenville SAFE KIDS Coalition. More children are properly restrained in motor vehicles when a crash occurs, more children are wearing their helmets when riding bikes or scooters"; and
Whereas, despite these impressive advances, unintentional injury is still the number one killer of Greenville's children. More than ten children die and more than eight thousand are injured seriously enough to require medical attention each year. That is a staggering one out of four children. Greenville SAFE KIDS works with emergency rooms, physicians, schools, and the Greenville County's Child Fatality Review Task Force to track trends on how and why injuries occur. Programs are then developed in specific injury areas to increase awareness and ultimately prevent injuries. Some examples include, assisting high risk families in obtaining smoke detectors, hosting monthly car seat inspections, distributing thousands of bike helmets, and teaching children about home safety through the nationally recognized Buddy's Home Improvement House; and
Whereas, Greenville SAFE KIDS first ever "Progress Report on Preventing Unintentional Injuries" tracks a decade of work in prevention. It presents a detailed picture of the particular risks that kill and disable more children than disease, homicide, or suicide. This report also maps out a strategy for the next ten years and issues specific call to action across injury areas; and
Whereas, in its tenth anniversary year, Greenville SAFE KIDS Coalition looks forward to continued growth through strategic partnerships with sponsors, health professionals, schools, legislators, industry, and sister communities. Through these partnerships, Greenville SAFE KIDS will lead important advocacy initiatives that will result in safer environments for children at home, at school, and at play. Greenville SAFE KIDS Coalition remains committed to reducing unintentional childhood injuries and keeping children out of GHS Children's Hospital; and
Whereas, it is fitting and proper for the members of the General Assembly to pause in their deliberations to commend and recognize the Greenville SAFE KIDS Coalition for the services it provides to this State. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the General Assembly, by this resolution, express their appreciation to Greenville SAFE KIDS Coalition for ten years of distinguished service to the State of South Carolina, and for protecting our children from unintentional childhood injuries.
Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be forwarded to Greenville SAFE KIDS, South Carolina SAFE KIDS, and National SAFE KIDS.
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