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July 28, 2004

New Mobile Safety Center Hits the Streets 

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Mobile Safety CenterThe Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the Baltimore City Fire Department are launching the Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center to keep children safe from unintentional injury, which is the leading cause of death for children nationwide. The mobile safety center is a 40-foot vehicle built as a house-on-wheels, which contains fun, interactive exhibits and low cost safety products. It travels the streets of Baltimore to teach parents and caregivers about the injury risks children face in every home and how to prevent them. The vehicle was officially unveiled at a news conference held on July 28 in Baltimore, Md.

The mobile safety center is a collaborative initiative of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which is based on the success of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety Center, a hospital-based resource center in the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

“Many community and health care partners worked with us to develop this mobile version of our hospital-based center because they realized there was a great need for better access to safety information and more affordable safety products throughout the City.  The mobile safety center will allow us to provide potentially life-saving education and safety products to many more families throughout Baltimore,” said Eileen M. McDonald, MS, program director of the Children’s Safety Center and assistant scientist in health policy and management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

William J. Goodwin, Jr., Chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department said, “The Johns Hopkins Mobile Safety Center is a major contribution to the community because it provides a forum for education and empowerment to the citizens as well as assists the Fire Department in promoting our message about fire safety and prevention in the home, therefore decreasing the potential hazards.”

InteriorThe Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center resembles a typical home with a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and stairway to illustrate potential hazards and preventive measures. For example, an onboard smoke generator and heating elements installed in a door simulate the conditions inside a home during a fire. Trained instructors from the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Baltimore City Fire Department use interactive exhibits in each of the rooms to teach parents and their children how to prevent burns, falls, strangulation, poisoning and other unintended injuries in their homes and neighborhoods. The vehicle is also equipped with an inventory of safety products, including such items as car safety seats, bicycle helmets, safety gates, and cabinet locks, which are offered for sale at below-retail costs.

“Our mission with the Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center is to promote the safety of children and families by delivering fun, interactive education, and affordable safety products to the community. CARES stands for ‘Children ARE Safe’ and that is our ultimate goal,” says Andrea C. Gielen, ScD, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and professor of health policy and management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Baltimore needs a service like the mobile safety center. Every year more than one thousand Baltimore children are hospitalized as a result of an injury – that’s almost 3 children every day who do not need to be suffering from these preventable injuries,” adds Dr. Gielen. Grants from the National Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will allow Dr. Gielen and colleagues at Johns Hopkins to evaluate the impact of the mobile safety center over the next two years.


KitchenThe mobile safety center is funded in part by grants to the partners from BP, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, Annie E. Casey, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. It was designed by the Mobile Safety Center Partnership, which includes the Maryland Institute College of Art, Maryland Science Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety Center in addition to the Baltimore City Fire Department and the Center for Injury Research and Policy. The vehicle was constructed by Lifeline Shelter Systems, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio and the educational exhibits were installed by Phoenixx Design Associates of York, Pennsylvania.

The Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center will be available at the East Baltimore Medical Center, 1000 East Eager Street, and by request at many other community locations.

For more information about the Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center or to schedule a visit, send an email to Hopkins.cares@baltimorecity.gov or call 410-955-4121.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu. Photos of the Johns Hopkins CARES Mobile Safety Center are available upon request.