Kohl’s Safety Town
Nationwide, pedestrian injury is one of the leading causes of injury-related death for children ages 5 to 14.
That’s why Via Christi Health and Kohl’s Cares have created Kohl’s Safety Town — an interactive pedestrian and bicycle safety education program.
Made possible by a $65,115 grant from Kohl’s Cares®, Kohl’s Safety Town will be traveling to a variety of family-friendly events and venues throughout the year to provide hands-on learning to children ages 5 to 14 as they navigate their way through the obstacle course’s various stations.
“With Kohl’s support, we hope to help thousands of Wichita-area children learn how to get where they are going safely,” said Ronda Lusk, community health and Safe Kids coordinator for Via Christi’s Wichita hospitals. “In doing so, we hope to help reduce the number of bicycle- and pedestrian-related injuries in our community.”
In addition to increased safety, Kohl’s Safety Town encourages parents and children to walk to school together, which in turn reduces congestion near schools, incorporates exercise into their daily routines and provides quality time together.
Since 2005, Kohl’s has donated $531,762 to Via Christi. Previous Via Christi initiatives supported by Kohl’s Cares® include Kohl’s Parents Academy and Kohl’s Newborns in Need. For more information, go to kohls.com/cares.
For information about upcoming Kohl’s Safety Town events, contact Lusk at 316-946-5045 or by emailing email@example.com.
Did you know?
- Each day, children are confronted by traffic threats that exceed their cognitive, developmental, behavioral, physical and sensory abilities.
- In 2009, there were 13,000 non-fatal pedestrian child injuries.
- Of the nearly 250 U.S. pedestrian child fatalities, most involved being struck by a car.
- Each year, pedestrian fatalities comprise about 11 percent of the nation’s traffic fatalities, or approximately 4,100.
- Unintentional injuries remain the leading cause of death nationwide for children ages one to 14. In the Wichita metro area (Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey and Sumner counties), 53 children died and 974 were hospitalized due to unintentional injuries from 2001 to 2005.
- In 2009, 37 patients of all ages were hospitalized at Via Christi’s Wichita hospitals for injuries resulting from bicycle accidents. Only three of them were wearing helmets.
- In 2010 and 2011, eight children ages 6 to 11, four children ages 12 to 14 and three children ages 15 to 16 were hospitalized for bicycle-related injuries. In all 15 cases, none of them were wearing helmets.
Drive with extra care
- When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly.
- Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways when making a turn to help spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.
- When driving, put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until you reach your destination.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
Actions speak volumes
Set a good example by putting devices down when you are driving or walking around cars. When parents put their devices down, kids are more likely to do the same.
Take action against distraction
- Teach kids to look up and pay extra attention when using headphones, cell phones or electronic devices such as tablets or games. Make it a rule to put these devices down when crossing the street. It’s particularly important to reinforce the message with teenagers.
- Be aware of others who may be distracted—and speak up when you see someone who is in danger.
- If your kids need to use a cell phone, teach them to stop walking and find a safe area to talk.
- For headphones, pull them down or turn off the volume before crossing the street.