Improving Child Safety Should Be Kentucky’s Highest Priority

Following a report ranking Kentucky 37th in the nation in childhood safety, health and security, Pikeville attorney Billy Johnson said that more can be done to improve conditions for children.

Pikeville, Kentucky, July 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A report from international non-profit organization Save the Children ranked Kentucky 37th in the nation for childhood safety, health and security. Kentucky attorney Billy Johnson said that the report, along with other well-known dangers, should prompt all Kentuckians to consider ways to improve conditions for the state’s youth. 

“Reports like this are unsettling for all of us,” Johnson said. “It highlights many of the ways we fall short of providing children the opportunities they need for a better future.”

The report ranked states based on categories which included food security, infant mortality, malnutrition, homelessness and violence, among other factors. Kentucky dropped four spots from last year’s report, End of Childhood Report 2017.  

“The report makes clear that rural communities are suffering,” Johnson said. “The rest of the country and national policymakers need to take these problems seriously and give us the tools to improve. In the meantime, we can also do our part to create a safer environment for our children.”

As an injury attorney in Kentucky, Johnson said he has seen too many children injured in vehicle crashes. Adopting safer driving habits is a simple but effective way to improve the safety of Kentucky’s communities, he said.

“We can dramatically improve child safety by becoming better drivers,” Johnson said. “This is particularly true for drivers in school zones.”

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. Drivers can greatly reduce the number of child pedestrian injuries by slowing down near schools, playgrounds and intersections, Johnson said.

Other leading causes of child injuries include drowning, suffocation, poisoning, burns and falls, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Johnson said that while these tragedies are difficult for parents to think about, knowing the dangers children are facing can help us prevent them from happening.

Many of the issues posing serious challenges to children in Kentucky stem from poverty and homelessness. While communities can take steps to address these problems, Johnson said, our lawmakers should make housing, educational and youth healthcare funding top priorities.

“Improving safety and living conditions for children requires a collective effort,” Johnson said. “Our federal and state government will play a significant role, and all of us can do our part to make Kentucky safer for our children.”


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