Comer Children's Hospital invites children, adults to safety fair

Comer Children's Hospital invites children, adults to safety fair

August 9, 2007

The University of Chicago Medical Center's Injury Prevention Consortium will present the Pediatric Emergency Room Safety Fair, an interactive, fun-filled day of displays and demonstrations, on Monday, Aug. 27, at the Comer Children's Emergency Room.

Along with the hospital's injury prevention specialists, representatives of the Chicago Fire Department and the City Clerk of Chicago will be on hand to interact with families and answer questions.

Comer Children's Hospital personnel will present safety tips, including ways to prevent children from falling out of windows, how to identify common household poisons and how to properly install a car seat.

"We show adults how to child-proof their homes," said Alison Tothy, MD, medical director of the Injury Prevention Consortium and a pediatrician in the ER. "Every spring we see children who have fallen from second and third-story windows. Small changes can save lives."

The same holds true for fire safety. The Chicago Fire Department's Fire Safety Trailer will be parked at the fair. The safety trailer, a model home, helps firefighters teach children fire safety and escape planning within a home-like setting.

"Children learn best when they have an opportunity to use all their senses," Tothy said. "We planned the safety fair so they'd have a chance to practice safety measures in an environment that's similar to their homes."

In addition, City Clerk Miguel del Valle's staff will bring Chicago's Kids Identification Systems (KIDS) to the fair. KIDS provides free identification cards, complete with a digital photo and fingerprints of the child.

Through the program, the City Clerk's office securely stores information in a database. The child's photograph, biography and description are shared only in instances in which the child is missing.

After a family reports a lost or abducted child, the City Clerk's Office posts the information on the Internet and sends it to law enforcement agencies, the media and other search groups.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the safety fair is free and open to the public. The Comer Children's Emergency Room is located at 5730 S. Drexel Ave.

For more information, the public should contact: Gail Aranda at (773) 702-5285, Alison Tothy at (773) 702-3571 or Amy Johnston at (773) 702-6482. Interested media should contact Theresa Carson at (773) 702-6241.