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Communities chosen for 'Risk Watch' injury prevention training     Send a link to a friend

[JULY 17, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Chicago Ridge, Moline, Peoria and Posen are the Illinois communities chosen this year by the Illinois Risk Watch Champion Management Team to implement an innovative injury prevention curriculum entitled "Risk Watch for the 2004-2005 School Year." Risk Watch has been implemented in 17 communities statewide since 2001. At a one-day workshop in Springfield on Monday (July 19), newly developed Risk Watch coalition members from the chosen communities will be trained to apply the new injury prevention curriculum.

The workshop, sponsored by the Illinois Risk Watch team, involves the collaboration of five state agencies and four non-state organizations: Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Public Health/Illinois Safe Kids Coalition, Illinois School Board Association, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Fire Marshal, Carle Emergency Services/Illinois Poison Control Center, St. John's Hospital, Champaign Fire Department and Health Alliance Medical Plans. The Risk Watch management team consists of representatives from state agencies and other organizations.

[See list: Illinois Risk Watch Champion Management Team]

The Risk Watch program, developed by the National Fire Protection Association and Lowe's Home Safety Council, is a nationally recognized, comprehensive injury prevention curriculum for children in preschool through eighth grades. Risk Watch is uniquely designed to partner educators with community leaders and risk experts in a team approach to educate children and reinforce the messages. The program is evaluated with pre- and post-testing to determine the student's knowledge gain.

With proper education, children can learn to be safer and prevent an injury, which makes the program perfect for schools. Risk Watch provides children with the skills and knowledge they need to recognize and avoid risks.

According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, the No. 1 killer of children ages 14 and under is unintentional injuries, such as traffic injuries, drownings, fires and burns, firearm injuries, falls, and poisonings. Each year in the United States, unintentional injuries kill more than 7,000 kids and permanently disable more than 50,000. That's more than drugs and disease combined. An estimated 13 million children -- one in four -- are injured seriously enough to require medical attention.

[See list: Childhood injury facts]

On July 20, the day following the workshop, the Illinois Risk Watch team will host its first Illinois Risk Watch reunion at St. John's Hospital in Springfield. Existing Risk Watch communities have been invited: Springfield, Champaign, Tolono, Urbana, Rolling Meadows, Country Club Hills, Manhattan, Glenwood, Mount Vernon, Carlinville, Centralia, Quincy, Libertyville, Mattoon, Paris, Galesburg and Havana.

The reunion will include database training, introducing the newly developed National Fire Protection Association natural disaster curriculum, discipline resourcing and community networking.

Amy Hein of Glenwood, recipient of the National Fire Protection Association Risk Watch Teacher of the Year Award, will be recognized, along with Kathy Timmons of Havana and Kelly Yung of Galesburg, winners of the Illinois Risk Watch Teacher of the Year Award.

Please visit the following website for more information: www.riskwatch.org.

* * *

2004 Illinois Risk Watch
Champion Management Team

  • Eddie Bain; Illinois Fire Service Institute, 11 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820; (217) 333-9014; edbain@uiuc.edu
  • Terry Campbell, co-chair; Glenwood Fire Department, 13 S. Rebecca, Glenwood, IL 60425; (708) 753-2440, ext. 461; fax (708) 753-2442; gfdpubed@comcast.net 
  • Dana Carnduff, coordinator; Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office, 1035 Stevenson Drive, Springfield, IL 62703-4259; (217) 558-0640; fax (217) 785-1001; dana.carnduff@sfm.state.il.us
  • Lori Coonen, grant writing; Illinois Department of Transportation, 3215 Executive Park Drive, Springfield, IL 62794; (217) 785-5544; fax (217) 792-9159; Coonenl@nt.dot.state.il.us
  • Trooper Jeff Darko, Law Enforcement Representative; Illinois State Police, 201 E. Adams, Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701; (217) 524-2525; darkoje@isp.state.il.us
  • JoAnn Lemaster, secretary; St. John's Hospital, 800 E. Carpenter, Springfield, IL 62769; (217) 544-6464, ext. 30095; fax (217) 535-3893; joann.lemaster@st-johns.org

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  • Patty Metzler; Carle Emergency Services/Illinois Poison Control Center, 400 Jay St., Savoy, IL 61874; (217) 326-6601; fax (217) 383-3061; pat.metzler@carle.com
  • Darrell Patterson, treasurer; Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Safe Kids Coalition, Ridgely Building, 500 E. Monroe St., Springfield, IL 62701; (217) 524-2446; fax (217) 557-5211; dpatterson@idph.state.il.us
  • Dena Schumacher, advisory board liaison; Champaign Fire Department, 307 S. Randolph, Champaign, IL 61820; (217) 403-7212; Dena.Schumacher@ci.champaign.il.us
  • Stephanie Werner, test reporting; Health Alliance Medical Plans, 2908 Greenbriar, Springfield, IL 62704; (217) 698-0022, ext. 1242; StephanieWerner@healthalliance.org

Childhood injury facts from Illinois Risk Watch

April 2001

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in Illinois for people aged 1-14. In 1998, 82 children under the age of 15 years were killed by motor vehicle crashes. Proper use of seat belts and child safety seats is the best way to reduce death and injury from motor vehicle crashes.
  • Of the 117 pedestrians killed in Illinois in 1999, over 11 percent were under 15 years of age. Bicycle riders under the age of 15 accounted for 17.9 percent of the bicyclist deaths (28 total) and 34.3 percent of bicyclist injuries (571 total). Correct use of bicycle helmets reduces the risk of brain injury by 88 percent.
  • Fire is a serious problem. In Illinois, hundreds of Illinois citizens die or are injured every year due to fires. In 1999, there were 221 deaths as a result of fire, while another 1,176 suffered serious injuries. Nearly half of all fire deaths are children. Plan and practice with all family members at least two ways out of your home. Have a meeting place. Keep all smoke alarms in working order. Unplug electrical appliances when not in use. Keep matches and lighters away from children. Take time every day to be fire-safe!
  • Each year, children under the age of 6 years account for more than half of the poisoning cases reported to the Illinois Poison Center. With the center's help, nearly four out of five poison victims can be treated safely and effectively. The best prevention is to keep all household cleaners, poisons and other dangerous substances locked and out of the reach of young children. The Illinois Poison Center can be reached at 1 (800) 942-5969.
  • While the number of deaths from falls among children aged 1-14 years in Illinois is relatively low, falls are the second leading cause of injury, behind motor vehicle crashes. In 1998, 1,701 children under the age of 15 required hospital treatment for their fall injuries. In addition to window and stair guards, the best way to prevent serious falls for young children is adult supervision.
  • There is no reason for anyone, especially a child, to be a victim of a shooting, intentionally or unintentionally. While deaths and injuries to children are few in Illinois, one is too many. Adults should always keep guns locked and stored away from children and teenagers. The Illinois General Assembly passed and the governor signed "Child Access Prevention" legislation in 1999. Proper gun safety education and supervision should be the highest priority.
  • Young children can drown or suffer a near-drowning incident in literally any body of water, from bathtubs and toilets to swimming pools, lakes and oceans. Supervision by parents or other adults is the best way to prevent these incidents. Never leave young children alone in the bathtub, wading pool or other water. Use personal flotation devices -- life jackets -- on children when on larger bodies of water.

[News release from the
Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal]

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