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Rural Health Information Hub

Benton-Franklin Health District

  • Project Title: Safe Kids Benton-Franklin
  • Program Representatives Interviewed: Kelly Harnish, Program Manager, Daphne Gallegos, Program Coordinator
  • Location: Benton and Franklin Counties, Washington
  • Program Overview: Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization that provides resources to coalitions to prevent childhood injuries. Safe Kids Benton-Franklin is a local coalition led by the Benton-Franklin Health District to address unintentional childhood injuries in Benton and Franklin Counties, Washington. The coalition provides resources and supports programs that cover a broad range of unintentional injury topics, including child passenger safety, brain injury prevention, fire and burn prevention, and water safety.

    Leveraging the coalition model, Safe Kids Benton-Franklin works with other local groups to provide safety equipment and safety services to the community. In one initiative to promote water safety, Safe Kids Benton-Franklin helps organize life jacket loan boards. These boards are located at all local boat launches and designated swim areas to provide access to free life jackets. Some of the boards also include water safety information and educational resources. Life jackets are supplied every year with the help of community donations. The program also leads bike helmet and child passenger seat initiatives to promote traffic safety. Safe Kids Benton-Franklin partners with the county parks and recreation department and the local Boys & Girls Club to provide bike helmets and offer helmet fittings to the community. As part of this initiative, they also have child passenger seat safety technicians and offer free child passenger seat safety checks. Additional trainings will be offered to increase the number of safety technicians in the community. In addition, Safe Kids Benton-Franklin offers a pop-up traffic garden, which is a miniature streetscape for children to learn traffic safety while biking, scooting, or walking.

    Safe Kids Benton-Franklin also maintains educational resources and toolkits that can be used by community groups interested in hosting safety events. For example, there is a bike trailer available that includes all information and equipment needed to set up a bike rodeo. They develop and supply these educational packages with support from the Safe Kids parent organization and local community organizations. Educational resources and toolkits can be reserved by anyone in the community via the Safe Kids Benton-Franklin website.

Models represented by this program: