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March 5, 2007

CARES Safety Center to Receive National Injury Prevention Award

Watch video of the CARES Safety Center

CARES Safety CenterThe Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Baltimore City Fire Department will receive the Nicholas Rosecrans Award, a national injury prevention award, later this month. The two groups led a partnership to create the CARES Safety Center, a 40-foot safety education vehicle. Designed as a house-on-wheels, the vehicle contains fun, interactive exhibits and low-cost safety products. Traveling throughout Baltimore City, the mobile safety center has provided more than 6,000 visitors with life-saving information about injury risks in the home and how to prevent them.

The Nicholas Rosecrans Award is given jointly by EPIC Medics, Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Laerdal Medical and the Red Flash Group. Named after Nicholas Rosecrans, a young boy who drowned in San Diego County, Calif., the award recognizes emergency responders who collaborate with agencies, organizations and citizens to promote injury prevention. The award will be presented March 10 at the EMS Today Conference and Exposition 2007 in Baltimore, Md. The conference is the largest conference in the United States for EMS providers. An upcoming issue of JEMS will also feature an article about the CARES Safety Center.

Injuries are the leading cause of death for children and more than 1,000 Baltimore children are hospitalized each year about three children every day as a result of largely preventable injuries from house fires, burns, poisonings, falls and traffic accidents. This award helps shed light on the enormous public health problem of childhood injuries that we are working to address, said Andrea C. Gielen, ScD, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

The CARES Safety Center, which was officially unveiled in July 2004, resembles a typical home with a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and stairway to illustrate potential hazards and preventive measures. Safety educators 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. The vehicle is also equipped with an inventory of safety products, such as car safety seats, bicycle helmets, safety gates and cabinet locks, which are offered for sale at below-retail costs.

Many people think child safety is just common sense. But, how can that be if the information isn t common knowledge? asked Eileen McDonald, Johns Hopkins Children s Safety Centers program director and associate scientist in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Families need information about risks, education about the recommended safety behaviors and access to affordable products. The mobile safety center allows us to bring all of this to families in our community.

The mobile safety center is one of many research and service projects led by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. As one of only 12 CDC funded centers of excellence in injury control research, the Hopkins Injury Center advances the science and practice of injury control through its research, service and educational mission. CARES is just one way we implement our Center s goal of making discoveries that make a difference, said Gielen.

Funding for the CARES Safety Center was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, BP, The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, Federal Emergency Management Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In-kind services and guidance were provided by a partnership council made up of the Maryland Institute College of Art, the Maryland Science Center, Johns Hopkins Pediatric Trauma Center, Injury Free Coalition for Kids/Baltimore and parents living in East Baltimore.

For more information about the Johns Hopkins CARES 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: Kenna Lowe or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.