Kiwanis supports Pediatric Trauma Institute

The Pagosa Springs Kiwanis Club welcomed injury prevention specialist Selena Silva from the Children’s Hospital of Denver as their weekly guest presenter.

Starting in 1994, The Children’s Hospital of Denver and the Rocky Mountain District of Kiwanis have partnered to create the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute, KPTI.

The mission of KPTI is threefold: to prevent traumatic childhood injury through research and education, promote product safety education through community outreach programs, and provide specialized training for pediatric emergency caregivers. KPTI accomplishes their mission by: providing child car seats and education, providing bicycle helmets with education on proper use, distributing injury prevention education materials to families and community, providing Junglemobile safety classroom on wheels, providing leadership for injury prevention coalitions, and by presenting safety and injury prevention education and outreach.

Silva cited motor vehicle traffic injuries as the leading cause of injury related deaths in children ages 1 to 14. Since its inception, to help reduce the number and severity of these injuries, KPTI has distributed 15,000 bicycle helmets, distributed, 3600 child car/booster seats, and has inspected nearly double that number of car/booster seats.

On behalf of KPTI and the Pagosa Kiwanis Club, Silva donated five booster seats each to Lynne Bridges of Seeds of Learning and Mardel Gallegos of Head Start. These booster seats will then be distributed to families at the two centers for use in their own family vehicles. For further information regarding childhood safety, you may contact KPTI at (800) 813-1639 or visit their Web site at www.kpti.org.

Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center Executive Director Kathy Koy and Lisa Kraetsch, programs director were the guest presenters at the weekly Pagosa Kiwanis Club meeting. The members received an overview of the pregnancy center, statistics on teen health, and information about the “Silver Ring Thing” Mythbuster Tour.

The pregnancy center was opened in 1999. Due to the generosity of a local benefactor, the center moved into an inviting new facility within the past year. The faith based center offers relevant information and support for those facing unplanned pregnancies and wanting to make an informed choice. Resources include pregnancy tests, diapers, baby and maternity clothes, formula and baby food. All services are provided free of charge. In addition to the focus on unplanned pregnancies, the center has a strong focus on teen health and promotes abstinence-based sex education. Health issues reach out beyond faith and/or politics.

Statistical information shared with the Kiwanians included:

• More than half of high school students have engaged in sexual

activity.

• Sexually transmitted diseases have skyrocketed over the last several years with over 8,000 individuals contracting a (STD) every day.

• There are 20 million new cases every year of STDs; of these, half are young people, ages 15-24.

• One-half million Americans have died from AIDs, however, two STDs — HPV and Chlamydia — are epidemic.

For more information about the Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center, view their Web site at www.pagosapregnancycenter.org or phone 264-5963.

Kiwanis meets every Thursday at noon at Boss Hogg’s Restaurant. All community members are invited to attend.

Upcoming programs include: Nov. 13, when Kelly Fisher will talk about the holiday community support of Operation Helping Hand; and Nov. 20, as David Broyles, president of 1st Southwest Bank, focuses his presentation on today’s economy. All community members are encouraged and invited to attend.