In the spring of 2016, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Emergency Department approached St. Luke’s Children’s Miracle Network with the idea to partner and create the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program. While St. Luke’s Children’s Miracle Network is perhaps best-known for treating illnesses and injuries, we saw this as an opportunity to impact our community in a new way—by preventing a life-changing injury or even death.

In its first year, the program provided 100 free life jackets and 200 free bike helmets to kids at local events. Emergency Department staff are on hand to measure children to ensure the proper helmet or life jacket fit and educate kids and families on proper equipment use and preventing injuries.

In 2017, the program more than doubled and expanded to include the Department of Natural Resources. In 2017, 2 Life Jacket Loaner Stations were erected at local lakes to ensure that every child has access to a recreational life vest with the understanding it will be returned for another child to use in the future. More Loaner Stations are planned for this year.

Since it’s beginning the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program has given out over 360 bicycle helmets and 275 life jackets. With the huge success around the program we are excited for the opportunities of the programs’ growth. That is why we are making the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program the focus of this year Ride!