One local group is working to make children's lives safer by offering an Emergency First Aid and Injury Prevention program to child care providers in the Central Savannah River Area.
According to Rene Hopkins, a registered nurse and SAFE KIDS of East Central Georgia Coalition Coordinator, the program being offered April 17 at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital is the first of its kind in the area.
"The program was developed by Emergency Medical Services for Children in collaboration with emergency professionals, child care professionals and educators with the goal of making the program affordable and accessible," said Hopkins, adding that the $10 registration fee includes lunch, a take-home CD and a hard copy of the program and provides participants with six content hours, which are approved by the Georgia Department of Human Resources.
"Every day, millions of young children leave their homes and spend part or most of their day in some type of child care setting," Hopkins said. "The numbers of children in child care has increased more than 40 percent since 1970 and is continuing to rise annually."
In 1991, Georgia regulations were updated to encompass areas of concern in health and safety for children in child-care settings. Training of the child-care personnel is a key factor in providing safe child care for the children of Georgia, Hopkins said.
"Unintentional injuries remain the leading cause of death to children ages 14 and under," she said. "However, death is only the tip of the iceberg. For every death, there are 35 hospital admissions, 1,300-plus emergency department visits and more than 1,800 health care provider visits."
Parents choosing a quality child care setting for their children should look for facilities where the personnel is trained in CPR and first aid.
"It is vital that our child care providers know not just what to do in the event of an emergency but how to prevent them," Hopkins said.
To register for the April 17 program, call the Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center at 721-KIDS.
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