Overview

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.

Fitting a bike healmet
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.

Programs

The programs and services we offer include:

Injury prevention resources

Mission

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. 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

Contact information

For more information, please contact the Safe Kids coordinator below or visit the National Safe Kids campaign Web site at www.safekids.org.

Madison Area Safe Kids Coalition: Led by AFCH
American Family Children's Hospital
Rishelle Eithun, Injury Prevention Program Manager
5791 Lacy Rd.
Madison, WI 53711
(608) 669-5219
E-mail: reithun@uwhealth.org

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.

6 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.

Dad's Bootcamp

A hands-on class for expectant first-time fathers. Join experienced dads and their babies (virtually) to learn how they made it through the first months of parenthood to become confident on-the-job fathers. Participants will also receive a copy of the book “Crash Course for Dads-To-Be”

No question or topic is off limits.

Dads and dads-to-be will discuss:

  • Handling a newborn

  • Feeding and changing

  • How to calm a crying baby

  • Finding work/home balance

  • Safety issues

Register for a class

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.)

Do

  • 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

Don't

  • 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

Resources

  • 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 REithun@uwhealth.org.