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Injury Free Coalition for Kids

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the largest health care philanthropist in the US, and has long supported efforts in substance abuse and tobacco prevention. Less well known is the support the foundation offers to injury prevention. A special report issued last September draws attention to their “Injury Free Coalition for Kids”, which operates injury prevention programs in hospitals in nine cities. The report describes each of the initiatives and then offers ideas for what it takes to replicate these efforts. The document is available on the foundation's web site

Drawstring near-miss renews calls for ban in Canada

A mother in New Brunswick, Canada, thought she was witnessing her child's death when a drawstring at the bottom of the 7 year old girl's jacket got caught in a school bus railing. Unaware, the driver drove off, dragging the girl outside the bus for two stops before her frantic mother, following behind in her car, caught up with them. Amazingly, the girl suffered only minor injuries. The November incident spurred Health Canada, the federal ministry, to reissue an advisory to parents to remove drawstrings and to look for clothing which uses elastic or Velcro-type fastenings instead. But advocates (our editor foremost among them) renewed their calls for an ban on drawstrings in children's outerwear, instead of the voluntary industry guidelines now in place. The government pledged to monitor the marketplace closely and re-examine the possibility of a ban in the near future.

. . . while in the US

A Florida company has recalled about 6600 girls' sweatshirts because they have hood drawstrings. Children can get entangled and strangle in the drawstrings that catch on objects, including playground equipment, fences and tree branches, notes the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in its press release announcing the recall. Since 1985, the CPSC knows of 16 deaths from neck/hood drawstrings. To help prevent children from strangling …

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