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Primary Children’s Hospital gifts life-saving devices to children to celebrate 30 years of injury prevention

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Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital has given away 4,200 helmets, booster seats, and other life-saving devices to Utah and Idaho families during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Hold On To Dear Life injury-prevention program and the countless lives it has helped save.  

“The pandemic forced us to cancel our child safety public events during 2020, so we had to find new ways to distribute Hold On To Dear Life materials to families who needed them,” said Jessica Strong, Primary Children’s community health manager.  

As the pandemic led to more families spending time outdoors, Primary Children’s saw an opportunity to help them enjoy their activities safely.  

The hospital partnered with 167 Intermountain Healthcare pediatricians, rural family medicine providers, and community organizations in Utah and in Burley, Idaho, and sent them helmets and other safety devices to distribute to families in their communities. 

“The results have exceeded our expectations,” Strong said. “Thanks to the support of Intermountain Foundation at Primary Children’s Hospital, and partnerships with clinics and community organizations, families received 4,200 life-saving devices and 19,000 safety and emotional wellness guides to help them keep children safe.” 

In celebration of the Hold On To Dear Life 30th anniversary in 2020, Primary Children’s caregivers: 

  • Provided 180 ATV helmets to people living in rural Utah and Idaho communities  
  • Distributed 650 bike helmets statewide 
  • Distributed more than 700 booster seats to parents of young children  
  • Helped parents and young teens identify their feelings by giving away more than 4,000 “Feelings Wheel” magnets  
  • Raised awareness of heatstroke and drowning by distributing more than 800 baby Safety Snap lanyards and 1,700 Water Watcher lanyards 
  • Partnered with community organizations to provide 170 free life jackets that will make swimming safer for children 
  • Educated families about safety by distributing 15,000 items such as safety flyers and stickers.  
Most people are surprised to learn that preventable injuries – things like car crashes, drownings, fires, and falls – are the leading cause of death to kids.

In 2021, the hospital will pilot virtual car seat checks to safely continue supporting parents and their children during the pandemic. The virtual car seat checks will help parents learn whether their car seats are correctly installed and properly fitted to the child without the need to come to the hospital.   

“We applaud Hold On To Dear Life’s 30 years of successes as an evidence-based and effective injury prevention program that has helped families keep children healthy and safe,” said Katy Welkie, RN, CEO of Primary Children’s Hospital and Vice President of Intermountain Children’s Health.  

“This is a tremendous accomplishment, and an important part of Intermountain Healthcare’s ambitious goal to build the nation’s model health system for children in the Intermountain West,” Welkie said. “We look forward to expanding Hold On To Dear Life to families throughout the Intermountain West as part of this goal, and to saving lives in the decades to come.” 

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