Valdosta Daily Times

July 12, 2012

Safe Kids

Local health and safety professionals launch child-safety program

Quinten Plummer
The Associated Press

VALDOSTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowning and traffic incidents are two of the top causes of preventable childhood deaths. In response, South Georgia health and safety professionals unveiled a coalition Wednesday that could help Lowndes County families keep their children safe.

The Safe Kids Lowndes County coalition will serve as the community’s branch of a child-safety initiative that has offices all over the world.

Lowndes County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Griffin, coalition coordinator, said the committee will focus on the following safety areas: Bike and wheel, child passenger, home, pedestrian and fire safety.

“I’m not telling parents to be paranoid and scare our children to death, but these safety measures are something that should become second nature for both kids and guardian,” Griffin said. “And we know that it can’t be done by ourselves. It takes everyone to make our community a safe place for our children to grow, play and live.”

Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine helped inaugurate the 10-member committee.

“There are so many things that we need to learn about child safety, as citizens and parents, in case of an emergency,” said Gayle. “It’s important that we train and educate as much as we can because our children, 14 years and younger, are our future.”

Griffin said the coalition is composed of members he’s met through the sheriff’s office and its DARE program, but coalition members work through their own resources, careers, etc., to promote child safety. He said the group will work together to hold seminars covering topics like burn prevention, first aid, car-seat checks, and water safety.

“Sometimes we need reminders. It’s a hectic world out there,” said Griffin. “You hear horrible news reports about kids found in the bottom of pools, or accidentally burned. Resources like Safe Kids Georgia and the Consumer Product Safety Commission provide a wealth of information that parents can utilize from the time their kids are born on up to age 14.”

To find out more about Safe Kids online resources to help keep your children safe, visit or the Consumer Product Safety Commission at

Safe Kids Lowndes County needs resources, volunteers and support from citizens interested in preventing childhood injuries and keeping kids safe. For more information, contact Sgt. Jim Griffin, coalition coordinator, by phone at (229) 671-3125; or via email