Remarks as prepared; not a transcript.

Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H, FACS
United States Surgeon General
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Safe Kids Campaign Press Conference to Launch National Safe Kids Week

Friday, April 29, 2005
10 a.m.
Washington, D.C.

Photo: Surgeon General Carmona talks with a participant at the National Safe Kids Campaign event about the importance of being safe in the water and on land.

“Preventing Childhood Injury”


Thank you, Marty, for that introduction. (Martin Eichelberger, M.D., President and CEO of the National Safe Kids Campaign)

Thank you, kids and parents, for being here today.

And thank you Chief Ramsey for all you do here in Washington, D.C. to help keep us safe.

And thank you Ray Jordan from Johnson & Johnson. I appreciate everything that Johnson & Johnson does to promote healthy families and for promoting nursing as a career. Thank you.

The Year of the Healthy Child
Earlier this year, I declared 2005 as “The Year of the Healthy Child” for the Office of the Surgeon General.

The Year of the Healthy Child agenda is focusing on improving the body, mind, and spirit of the growing child.

As a child grows, so does the child’s health needs.

So the Office of the Surgeon General will address, among other things, immunizations, childhood obesity, illness and injury prevention, healthy indoor environment, mental health, child abuse prevention, drug and alcohol use prevention, and safe teen driving.

I’m proud that the National Safe Kids Campaign has joined us as a partner in our efforts, focusing on preventing childhood injury – the leading cause of death and disability among children.

Marty and Alan, thanks for your leadership.

Child Safety
We need partners and role models to help keep children safe and healthy. As parents we cannot abdicate our responsibility to teach our children healthy habits.

In fact, study after study after study tells us what we’ve known for generations…parents are their children’s most influential role models.

Messages like not smoking, or drinking; wearing a seatbelt while riding in a car, or a helmet while riding a bike are life lessons that can actually save life.

And the best way to give a message, is to do something yourself.

Actions are worth a thousand words, so parents, wear your seatbelts and helmets. And be sure to insist that your children do, too.

Even a ride around the block or an afternoon trip bike ride could have life-threatening consequences. But with proper protection, and by taking precautions, we can help ensure that our children have fun in a safe way.

Together, we can ensure a safe and happy summer for all of our children.

Thank you.

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Last revised: January 8, 2007