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Columbus, Ohio
USA

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Why injury? It's this simple: more children die from injuries every year than from the next three leading causes of death combined. Nobody knows this because no one is talking about it. In the U.S., one child dies every hour from an injury that could have been prevented. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds as the result of an injury. You don’t need to have a child to know that we can do better.

 

Round of Applause: High Chair Helper

End Injury

Tiffany-Ann Matturro, Nicole Horn, and Julia Capobianco

Tiffany-Ann Matturro, Nicole Horn, and Julia Capobianco

Every so often in this space, we’ll applaud people who inspire us. Folks who take action to make our world safer. And our first round of applause goes to some unlikely candidates. They’re not experts. They’re not even old enough to drive. But they saw a problem and are trying to fix it. A few seventh-graders from Massapequa, New York are trying to end injury.

Nicole Horn, Julia Capobianco, and Tiffany-Ann Matturro started thinking about high chairs after a study last year showed that kids get hurt falling from them. In most cases, the children weren’t strapped in the right way (or at all). But sometimes, the chairs themselves tipped over because they weren’t stable enough.

Nicole, Julia, and Tiffany-Ann wanted to solve the second problem. With one of their favorite science teachers, they created the H.C.H.: High Chair Helper -- a system of weights for a chair’s legs that help keep the chair from tipping. The three girls even contacted the doctor who conducted the study to get his guidance.

The girls and their teacher entered the High Chair Helper in the Christopher Columbus Awards, a national science competition for middle school students. They were named finalists and took an all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World in June for the judging.

And, well. . .they should have won, if you ask us. (A very deserving project to help protect honeybee populations actually took the top spot.) Nicole, Julia, and Tiffany-Ann say they’re going to keep working on H.C.H. with the idea of preventing as many injuries as they can.

Can three seventh-graders help make the world safer? It sure looks like it. What can the rest of us do?

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