On Sunday April 24th, Drew Barrymore will lead the charge to promote and celebrate Safe Kids Day, presented by Nationwide at Smashbox Studio in Culver City. Safe Kids Day supports the life-saving programs of Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization working to protect children from unintentional injuries, such as drowning, fires, burns, poisoning and traffic injuries. Preventable injuries are the leading cause of death to children in the U.S., but with education and simple precautions, most injuries can be prevented.
Kate Carr, President and CEO of the organization, spoke with Destination Luxury about her involvement with Safe Kids Worldwide, which she joined in 2011, after having served with a number of distinguished non-profits, including Malaria No More, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Here, Ms. Carr talks about what we can do to provide a safer haven for our children and how this event came to be.
Destination Luxury: I see you’ve worked for a number of wonderful non-profits before. How did you get involved in Safe Kids Worldwide and why?
Kate Carr: I have been very fortunate to join in the efforts to change outcomes for children and their families. As the oldest of eight kids and mother of three, the needs of children and their families have always been important to me. I have served as the President and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. During my tenure, the organization launched global efforts to end mother-to-child transmission as well as one of the first care and treatment programs for children and adults with AIDS. That work was further complemented by my service at the Malaria No More Foundation where we focused intently on bringing an end to malaria death which typically claims the life of a child under the age of five. These global issues were front and center of thought leaders, government officials and the public. When the opportunity to work at Safe Kids was presented to me in 2011, I had no idea that a preventable injury was the leading cause of death for children in the United States and contributed to nearly one million deaths around the world. I knew I had to turn my energy to an issue that matters to every person who has a child, knows or child, or was a child. That’s everyone and I believe that practically everyone knows a story about something that happened to a child as a result of a predictable and preventable injury. Safe Kids works hard to educate parents, kids and caregivers about what can be done to end this silent epidemic.
Destination Luxury: What is the #1 point you want to get across to parents/communities across the nation?
Carr: Injuries, like car crashes, drownings, fires, falls and poisoning, are the leading cause of a child’s death in the U.S. But we can work together to prevent them. Bumps and bruises – that’s to be expected as kids learn and grow. But serious injuries or fatalities? Let’s put an end to them.
Destination Luxury: How did this event come to be?
Carr: Four years ago we wanted to find a way to build awareness of our cause and raise funds to support our programs. We are fortunate to have more than 400 partners around the country and we asked them to help us by holding a Safe Kids Day event in their community. This year there will be more than 225 events happening across the country, and we will hold a national Safe Kids Day event, presented by Nationwide, on April 24 at Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles.
Dr. Peter Waldstein, a pediatrician from LA, has helped us reach out to celebrities and friends willing to embrace our cause. Much like me, many were surprised by the statistics and impressed by the information and programs we make available for free to families and our partners. And they are even more impressed with the impact we have helped to achieve with other partners – that is a 60% reduction in child fatalities from preventable injuries since our inception 28 years ago. This is our fourth year celebrating Safe Kids Day and I can say we will continue our work to make sure every day is a safe day for kids of all ages.
Destination Luxury: What is the biggest misconception or maybe most confusing issue facing parents today?
Carr: Parenting has so many challenges. How do I care for this newborn? What do I do with my adventurous toddler or rebellious teenager? Will they have the education they need, the best of health care, a nutritious diet, an opportunity to play the sport they love with a trained coach? The needs and questions are endless. We want all kids to be healthy, safe and strong. And I want the best for every child – the ability to grow up and live their dreams. At Safe Kids, we focus on what is known in the public health world as “unintentional injuries,” but most parents probably think of them as “accidents.” We want to work together to show the layers of protection that can be provided with relative ease in the hopes of answering every parent’s question: What do I do to keep my child safe?
To purchase tickets for this Sunday’s event with Drew Barrymore, Hilary Duff and more, click here.