Injury Free Coalition for Kids Austin, housed within the Trauma Service at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, is focused on preventing injury to children in Central Texas through three mechanisms: education, research and advocacy.
Education: Injury Prevention staff at Dell Children’s Medical Center provide a variety of educational offerings. In the hospital, one-on-one Injury Prevention Consultations are provided to admitted trauma patients as a standard part of thier care. These consultations provide access to age-appropriate information and prevention resources. The Safety Station, our on-site safety store, provides our patients and community with access to low-cost child safety devices, including car seats and bike helmets. In addition, courses training new child passenger safety technicians are offered on a periodic basis, and each year, we offer child safety seat seminars for medical residents.
Research: The Trauma Services Department of Dell Children’s Medical Center maintains a diverse research program. The program’s focus is on the epidemiologic, clinical, and behavioral study of childhood injury, injury prevention, and trauma clinical practice. Areas of interest include injury prevention, non-accidental trauma, and clinical pathways. Current studies include evaluating an injury prevention curriculum in an urban summer camp setting, describing caregiver risky alcohol use, and assessing the living environments and social factors that influence injury prevention behaviors and beliefs of teenage parents. An active collaboration with researchers at the University of Texas, School of Social Work was established to examine risky alcohol use in adolescents and caregivers of injured pediatric patients.
Advocacy: Injury Free Austin's activities also encompass advocacy efforts aimed at strengthening or creating safety legislation for residents of the State of Texas. Initiatives have included efforts to improve transportation legislation, and to secure funding and support for statewide injury-related data systems (specifically the state Trauma and Submersion Registries).