Canonsburg Hospital Hosts First-Ever Child Safety Day Event

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Unintentional injuries to children remain the leading cause of death for kids under the age of 19 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To increase awareness of injuries that are all too often preventable and avoidable, Canonsburg Hospital – a part of Allegheny Health Network (AHN) – is hosting its first-ever Child Safety Day on Saturday, June 3.

Injuries to children can be devastating and deadly, but the severity of the injuries can be lessened or avoided entirely by taking the right steps.

While the number of deaths from unintentional injuries to children declined by more than 50 percent between 1987 and 2013, they remain the leading cause of death for kids under the age of 19 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To increase awareness of injuries that are all too often preventable and avoidable, Canonsburg Hospital – a part of Allegheny Health Network (AHN) – is hosting its first-ever Child Safety Day.

Families are invited to the hospital grounds for a day of fun, education, and prizes this Saturday, June 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each family attending will be given a free first-aid kit, and hospital staff will distribute more than 300 bicycle helmets. There will be free food and nine bikes will be raffled off.

“Injuries to children can be devastating and deadly, but the severity of the injuries can be lessened or avoided entirely by taking the right steps,” said Kathleen Latouf, DO, Medical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Canonsburg Hospital. “Canonsburg Hospital and Allegheny Health Network are committed to providing the best care possible for our patients, but we also strive to help our community stay healthy, safe, and, hopefully, out of the emergency department.”

Dr. Latouf will be joined by her fellow emergency department physicians Anthony D’Alessio, MD, and Jennifer Zernec, DO, along with several other physicians and medical personnel at the event.

In 1987, more than 16,000 children under the age of 19 died from unintentional injuries. That number dropped to less than 7,700 children in 2013. While a significant drop, according to the CDC, that still represented the leading cause of death for children in the U.S., with motor vehicle/traffic accidents, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, and fire/burning topping the list.

“No parent wants to see their child harmed,” added Dr. Latouf. “With the right information and safety measures in place, such as a properly installed car seat or a child wearing a helmet while riding a bike, many of these injuries can be prevented or minimized.”

In addition to the giveaways and chance to ask questions of medical personnel, Child Safety Day will feature: a LifeFlight medical helicopter, “touch-a-truck” emergency vehicle demonstrations, a SWAT team vehicle, an FBI surveillance truck, a team from the Carnegie Science Center making ice cream from liquid nitrogen, a visit by the Pirate Parrot, and a chance to win Pirates tickets.

About Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network, part of Highmark Health, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is comprised of eight hospitals, including its flagship academic medical center Allegheny General Hospital, Allegheny Valley Hospital, Canonsburg Hospital, Forbes Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, Westfield Memorial Hospital and West Penn Hospital; a research institute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; an employed physician organization, home and community based health services and a group purchasing organization. The Network employs approximately 17,000 people and has more than 2,800 physicians on its medical staff. The Network also serves as a clinical campus for Temple University School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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Doug Braunsdorf
Allegheny Health Network
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