Being an intern for an organization that takes part in helping prevent unintentional childhood injury has been an eye-opening experience in regards to the countless instances of injury across the nation.
Previously as a nursing student, I always thought about how a nursing career would be fulfilling and rewarding because I knew that I would be playing a vital role in so many people’s lives. I used to think often about what a life-changing experience it would be one day to save a person’s life. As it turned out, my nursing plans changed, and I didn’t think that taking part in saving lives would be in my future anymore, until now.
In a way, those working to end child injury are saving lives every day and are preventing children from ever ending up in the care of a nurse. This is something that, before I started working, I never thought that I would be part of.
Before my internship, I had no clue that unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children, let alone that over 9,000 children die every year from unintentional injury in the U.S.—that’s 25 children every day. I thought cancer or HIV/AIDS would be the leading cause of death for children, and I think that this is part of the issue today. So many people are unaware of the countless number of instances of childhood injury, and although injury prevention isn’t perceived as “ground-breaking” like, say, stem cell research in regards to preventing childhood deaths, it is just as important.
For me, I know that I am much more aware of the dangers for children when I’m babysitting. After researching childhood drowning, I was determined to follow around the little boy that I was babysitting at the pool (and man was that exhausting!). Although he got quite annoyed with me not letting him wander into the big pool with his older brother, I knew that having a 4-year-old mad at me was better than him being rushed to the hospital.
Preventing childhood injury is sometimes as simple as making your child wear a helmet, to more strenuous tasks like I mentioned above, but every choice that parents make for their children leads to decreasing the risk of a child being injured. The people I work with and all the others who are leading the fight against childhood injury are saving lives every day.
Courtney Pastor is a senior studying Organizational Communications at Capital University. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in healthcare communications in the Columbus, Ohio area.
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