PREVCON Sparks New Ideas & Approaches for Reducing Preventable Childhood Injuries

3 August 2015

Close to 600 child injury prevention leaders and advocates from across the U.S. and around the world gathered in Washington, DC last week for PREVCON, a child injury prevention conference hosted by Safe Kids Worldwide.

The three-day networking and educational event, held 29 July to 1 August, sparked conversations about new ideas and innovative approaches related to reducing children’s injuries and fatalities from preventable injuries. Pedestrian safety, sports injury prevention, sleep safety for infants, car safety, and the safety of consumer products were among the topics covered in plenary sessions and workshops led by injury prevention specialists throughout the event. The conference also included discussions on the latest in injury prevention research; tips on how to operate safety programs on any budget; and ideas for coalition management, community organization, and fundraising development.

A panel of consumer product safety experts discussed emerging product safety issues for children and ways to ensure that accurate information on children's injury prevention reaches parents. Panelists included Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) and chair of ASTM International’s Subcommittee F15.22 on Toy Safety, Robert Adler, commissioner at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Dr. Alexander Garrard, Pharm.D., clinical managing director at Washington Poison Center, and Katie Smith, state director for Safe Kids California.

Discussion topics included priority issues involving the safety of products found in a child’s environment – such as the risk of ingestion of liquid nicotine by children and young adults, the hazard of furniture tip-overs, and recent recalls of child car seats – and sources for reliable information on children's product safety.

Panelists also covered advancements made in toy safety in recent years and the example set by U.S. toy standards for other product categories, as well as the ongoing prevalence of inaccurate and misleading information in the media alleging toys to be “dangerous.”

Safe Kids Worldwide is a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children. The organization has committed to reducing the number of fatalities due to preventable injuries in the U.S. by half from 2010 to 2020, and the reduction of injuries throughout the world. PREVCON attendees represented Safe Kids' coalitions in 46 states and 14 countries. These coalition partners are health professionals in their respective local areas, in addition to their partnership work with Safe Kids.

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