Child safety and advocacy: Caring for the well-being of infants, children and teens

UW Health Kids Safety and Advocacy experts can show you how to best keep your child healthy and injury-free. Our Safety Center is an excellent resource for information and child safety products available for purchase.


Improving the well-being of Wisconsin's children

American Family Children's Hospital is a state and regional leader in injury prevention and safety advocacy on behalf of children. In our child health advocacy efforts, our vision is to measurably improve the health status and well-being of Wisconsin's children through community partnerships that address top risks to children's health. Our child health advocacy areas of focus include safety, access to medical and dental care, nutrition and physical fitness, literacy and school health.


The Safe Kids Madison Area Coalition brings together the expertise of individuals and organizations dedicated to reducing injuries to children in our communities throughout the Dane County region. Partners in the Madison Area Safe Kids Coalition include law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services (EMS), healthy and safety professionals, schools, poison center staff, service groups, parents and children.

The Coalition is part of the National Safe Kids Campaign, the first and only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury - the number one killer of children ages 1-14. The UW Health Kids experts at American Family Children's Hospital serves as the lead organization, lending support to help the group accomplish their goals related to injury prevention in the Madison, Dane County and surrounding area.

As an organization, we seek to prevent deaths and injuries to children caused by:

  • Motor vehicle crashes and pedestrian injuries

  • Bicycle crashes

  • Drownings

  • Fires and scald burns

  • Poisons and chokings

  • Falls

  • Firearms

A child being fitted for a bike helmet by an adult
Safety Center
A resource for all families

At the Safety Center, you can shop for products, receive educational materials and ask our trained staff questions about child safety. Most items are less expensive than at local retailers.

Safe Kids Madison Area Coalition

Preventing unintentional childhood injuries

The mission of the Safe Kids Madison Area is to prevent unintentional childhood injuries, the leading cause of death and disability among children ages 1 to 14.

We educate families, provide safety devices to families in need, and advocate for better laws to help keep children safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. The Madison branch is one of more than 600 state and local Safe Kids Coalitions in all 50 states.


The programs and services we offer include:

Injury prevention resources

Request forms

Request a presentation

Child safety experts can provide an age-appropriate presentation to your group on a variety of topics including teen driving, medication safety, child passenger safety and more.

Request a child passenger safety session

Schedule a session with a Safe Kids expert to ensure your child's passenger seat is installed correctly in your vehicle.

Bike Rodeo and helmet donations

Contact us if your agency is holding a bike rodeo or needs assistance with fitting helmets.

Smiling child with sign reading UW Health Kids
UW Health Kids
Our pediatric experts have served the special needs of children for more than 100 years. We focus on each child’s unique needs and offer social and emotional support to help you and your child face even the most complex condition. Our long history includes the creation of medical advances that save lives around the world. Together, we get your child back to health and enjoying being a kid.

Safety initiatives

Mowing means knowing

More than 16,000 children and teens are hurt each year because of lawn mower injuries. Finger tips, hands, arms, legs and feet can be at risk when the person mowing is distracted, even for a split second.

If you can remember one thing to keep your kids safe, it’s this:

Mowing Means Knowing – where your children are

Six easy mowing safety tips

  • Before starting the lawn mower, know where all children are. Talk to them and be sure they stay out of the yard when someone is mowing. Keeping kinds in the house is the ideal safety practice.

  • If children are playing outside, designate a supervisor (not the person mowing) of the kids while the lawn mower is in use.

  • Never allow a child to ride as a passenger on a riding mower.

  • Teach children that lawn mowers are not toys.

  • Children should be at least age 12 to operate a walk-behind mower.

  • Children should be at least age 16 to operate a riding lawn mower.

Safe to Sleep

Keep your baby safe while they are sleeping

The goal of the Safe to Sleep Program is to help educate families on safe sleep environments. There are simple things you can do to help keep your baby safe while they are sleeping.

Tips for helping babies safely sleep

Follow these simple "ABCs of safe sleep for babies" for guidance:

A: Alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommend that the baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing, not bed-sharing).

B: Back. Unless otherwise instructed by a pediatrician, an infant should always sleep on his or her back.

C: Crib. Railings should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. The mattress should be firm and covered with a tight, fitted sheet, and the crib should be clutter free (no blankets, bumper pads, stuffed animals, toys, etc.)


  • Lay your baby on their back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

  • Use a safe crib with a firm, tight-fitting mattress covered with a crib sheet and nothing else in it

  • To keep your baby warm, use a sleep sack (wearable blanket)

  • Use a tight-fitting, firm mattress with a fitted crib sheet


  • Smoke, drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy or after the baby is born

  • Put your baby to sleep on beds, sofas, recliners, chairs, soft surfaces, bouncy chairs, baby swings or car seats

  • Use pillows, loose sheets or blankets, stuffed toys, crib bumpers, sleep positioners and other soft bedding products

  • Put your baby to sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you or anyone else


  • Pregnancy Helpline Safe Sleep Program: Pregnancy Helpline is committed to making sure all babies in the Madison area have a safe place to sleep. They deliver brand new pack-n-plays free of charge to clients' homes. Call their Helpline number to request a contract and to arrange for delivery: (608) 222-0008.

  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul: 2033 Fish Hatchery Rd., Madison, WI 53713. Call (608) 442-7200, ext. 441, Monday through Friday, 9am-3:30pm for an interview. New portable cribs are made available to low-income Dane County households.

If you would like more resources on safe sleep, or would be interested in having a safe sleep educator come into your organization to talk about safe sleep, please contact Rishelle Eithun at