Our Reason for Building

Unintentional injury is the leading killer of kids in the United States ages 1-14. Each year, more children die from unintentional injuries than from all childhood diseases combined. In 2000, 5,686 children age 14 and under died from unintentional injuries. That same year, unintentional injuries resulted in 228,000 hospitalizations, more than 1.6 million visits to outpatient departments and more than 13.5 million visits to physicians' offices. It is estimated that as many as 90% of unintentional injuries can be prevented.

A study by Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health showed a significant improvement in safety test scores among children who attended a children's safety village in Maryland. Among parents, 70% reported that their children learned a great deal and 33% reported having made changes at home as a result. The study concluded that the safety curriculum had a positive impact on children's knowledge and parents' safety practices.

A study by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine concluded school K-2 safety education improves family seat belt use.

Patrick Bethany

Patrick Bethany, 12, was killed in 2002 when he was hit by a train in Vivian. Patrick was riding his bike with two friends when his front tire got caught in the tracks at the crossing. He managed to free the wheel, but failed to clear the tracks before the engine clipped his back tire, fatally injuring Patrick.

Fredrick Johnson

Fredrick Johnson, 10, of Shreveport, was struck by a car while riding his bicycle on North Market Street. He received two broken legs and 10 broken toes in the accident. Fredrick underwent months of therapy to learn to walk again.

James Stevens

James Stevens of Oil City was three years old when he took a rifle from an unlocked gun cabinet and accidently shot himself in the shoulder. Children are never too young to learn about gun safety.