IFCK - KC is housed within The Center for Childhood Safety, a hospital-based injury prevention program at The Children's Mercy Hospital. Our mission is to lead innovative programming in pediatric injury and violence prevention, utilizing evidence-based translational research aimed at influencing behavior through education and advocacy. Alongside community partners, our vision is to improve the lives of children by alleviating the health burdens of intentional and unintentional injury.

Site staff includes Principle Investigator, David Juang, MD, CMH Surgery Trauma Services and Medical Director of Trauma, Burn, and Injury Prevention. Program Director is Kayla Curiel, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC. Program Manager is Laura Kemerling, MSN, RN, C-NPT. Program Coordinator is Shannon Bernal, BSN, RN, CPSTI. Health Facilities Assistant is Amy Looper, BS, CPSTI.

Traffic Safety Program

The hospital's traffic safety program includes child passenger safety courses approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Child Passenger Safety Training Course, Safe Travel for All Children: Transporting Children with Special Healthcare Needs and Improving Occupant Protection for Non-Critical Pediatric Patients in Ambulances: A Training Curriculum for EMS Personnel. In addition, specialized traffic safety and basic CPS programming is offered to childcare, school transportation staff, community stakeholders, and partners.

Safe Kids Greater Kansas City (SK GKC) (Clay, Jackson, and Platte Counties) is a coalition site for Safe Kids Worldwide. Laura Kemerling also serves as the Coalition Coordinator. Based on the community's needs, SK GKC implements evidence-based programs, including car-seat checkup events and bike, pedestrian, water safety, and home safety workshops to help parents and caregivers reduce the risk of injury.

Hospital-based Child Passenger Safety Program

The hospital-based Child Passenger Safety (CPS) is led by program coordinator, Shannon Bernal, BSN RN, CPSTI. The CPS program provides child passenger safety consultations at the bedside and virtually. Occupant restraint assessments for safe discharge are conducted, and when needed, an appropriate car seat is provided. The car seat program is staffed by certified child passenger safety technicians (CPSTs) who have specialized training in working with children with special health needs. Shannon Bernal and Amy Looper are Safe Travel Instructors, able to conduct assessments and provide intervention, including a loaner car seat, when the child's CPS needs cannot be met with a conventional car seat. Our instructors offer community outreach in consultation with local providers and CPSTs to promote CPS in the community.

Pedestrian and Bike Safety Program

IFCK-KC staff collaborates with BikeWalkKC ( a local non-profit that provides bike and pedestrian education and advocacy to promote walking and biking to elementary schools within the greater Kansas City region. Working closely with the local schools' physical education instructors, students participate in BikeWalkKC's "Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training (BLAST)" to learn the core concepts of safety, confidence, and skill acquisition. Bicycle helmets are provided to each student. The measurable outcomes are improved bicycle handling skills, proficiency in basic traffic skills & identification, and avoidance of hazards.

Ground Ambulance Occupant Protection of Children in Ambulances

Improving Occupant Protection of Children in Ambulances (2022-2023). IFCK-KC advocates for improved occupant protection of non-critical pediatric patients transported in ambulances. In collaboration with Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT), Mid America Regional Council Emergency Responders (MARCER) and Missouri Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC), the occupant protection educational program focuses on firefighters and paramedics safely transporting children in ground ambulances as described by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO)

Home Safety Program

IFCK-KC staff collaborates with and supports Charlie's House, the country's only safety demonstration home (, focused on preventing unintentional childhood injuries in and around the home. By increasing awareness, offering public education, and distributing safety devices, staff honor the memory of Charlie Horn. Charlie is a small child who passed away in 2007 as a result of a furniture tip-over accident.

Safe Sleep Program – Bedside Program

A "Safe Sleep, Safe Babies" program is facilitated by bedside nurses, who model a safe sleeping environment and educate families on the best ways to reduce the risk of suffocation of an infant. As outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Back to Sleep 2022 recommendations, caregivers demonstrate how infants should be placed on alone in their bed, on their back, and in a sleep space free of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or anything else that poses a risk to suffocation. In support of community outreach, parents/caregivers who cannot provide an appropriate sleep space for their infant are provided with a portable crib, sleep sack, pacifier, and additional education at the time of discharge from the hospital. The Children's Mercy Hospital is a Cribs for Kids Gold Level - certified institution.

Poison Control/Overdose Prevention

IFCK-KC supports and partners with Shayla A. Sullivant, MD and staff in support of their "Prepped and Ready" Program which aims to help parents and caregivers learn what steps they can take before a crisis develops with their teenager. "Prepped and Ready" equips families with education on suicide prevention, home safety (including safe storage of firearms, medications, etc.), self care, and substance use. The CCS collaborates with hospital staff and local law enforcement / Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to host bi-annual prescription drug take-back days. Events hosted aim to provide a safe, convenient, responsible way of disposing of unused or expired prescription medications, while also educating the public about potential risk of abuse or unintentional ingestion.

Kansas City Directors

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Contact Info

For additional information about Injury Free Kansas City, please contact one of our program directors:


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