Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is shining a light on injury prevention

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital
Posted at 5:11 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 18:24:33-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — It's a sad reality — almost one million children die each year across the world because of preventable injuries.

It's why Monroe Carell Junior Children's Hospital has teamed up with 43 other hospitals nationwide to raise awareness about the need for injury and violence prevention.

In fact, November 18 was Child Injury Prevention Day in Tennessee and data shows preventable injuries are the number one killer of children in the United States.

Staff at the children's hospital have seen 27 gunshot patients since the start of the year through August and 12 of those children died.

Some of those shootings were accidental while others were suicides and homicides.

In 2020, four kids died from gunshots and surgeons say this trend is alarming.

"I was shocked to see the numbers. We had nearly a dozen children killed by gun-related issues this past year and we're not even to the end of the year. So, we're very, very concerned about what's going on in our community," said Dr. Jeffrey Upperman, surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Thursday has been proclaimed Child Injury Prevention Day in Tennessee by Governor Bill Lee, and the Metro Nashville Courthouse lit up green in support of the efforts.

“Children need not die from preventable injuries,” said Upperman. “A properly installed car seat, cable locks and mediation lockboxes are all safety equipment that can help us keep children safe at home and on the road.”

Families upon discharge from the hospital, teams will also distribute medication lock boxes and cable locks for firearms as well as handing out other safety prevention items such as bike reflectors and reflective slap bracelets.