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Reducing and Treating Trauma in Children

Swallowing a button battery. Suffering a sports-related concussion. Getting rear-ended in a car.

In the U.S., injury is the No. 1 killer of children over all diseases combined, and it is the most common cause of disability in childhood. No parent should have to suffer the loss of a child. And no child should be robbed of the right to a safe, healthy childhood and a bright future.

Valley Children’s dedicated pediatric trauma team partners with parents, schools and first responders to prevent kids from getting hurt in the first place. We are the lead agency for Safe Kids Central California, part of a global organization committed to preventing injuries in children. Based on the community’s needs, this essential coalition implements evidence-based programs, such as car-seat checkups, safety workshops and sports clinics, to help parents and caregivers prevent childhood injuries.

When a child suffers serious injury, Valley Children’s Hospital – a designated Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, and Central California’s only pediatric trauma center – is ready and waiting. From a child’s first entry via our emergency department, to the rehabilitation process and follow-up treatment, our teams of board-certified pediatric specialists provide the full continuum of specialized care for infants, children and adolescents. We are also specially trained and experienced in doing everything possible to correct or improve the child’s condition without surgery.

Valley Children’s is committed to providing the best healthcare for kids and becoming the best children’s hospital in the nation. To help us achieve this goal, we need to ensure that our pediatric trauma center offers families the most effective prevention efforts and highest quality care to reduce abuse and accidental injury and their devastating effects on children.

An Increasing Need for Philanthropic Support

During the past decade, the number of patients Valley Children’s admits for trauma conditions has increased nearly 65%, from 562 in FY 2005 to 877 in FY 2015. The good news is most of these injuries are preventable, usually with the right education, awareness and planning. Nine out of 10 car seats, for example, are installed incorrectly. The proper use of a car seat can reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants and 54% for kids ages 1 to 4.

To that end, Valley Children’s has increased its pediatric trauma outreach from a few hundred contacts in 2003, to more than 40,000 in 2015. Fortunately, unintentional injury deaths of children ages 0 to 18 have declined nationally by 40 percent. We like to think our collective injury prevention efforts locally have contributed to this decrease. But losing one child is one too many. We can never stop our efforts until we eliminate all preventable injuries in children.

Parents are the first line of defense. And we help them keep their children safe from car crashes, poisonings, drowning, fires, abuse and falls. With increased funding, we can make an even more significant difference in the lives of the families and children in our communities.

How You Can Help

Your philanthropic support to further build and expand our pediatric trauma center and outreach efforts will enable us to provide more parents with education, tools and resources to protect their children from serious inju­ries that could jeopardize their lives and future. Thank you for your consideration.

Click here to invest today in the lives of ill and injured kids in the Central Valley.