Thursday, March 17, 2016

Safe Kids Utah Receives $120k Donation to Prevent Childhood Injuries

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Unintentional injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, drowning, and poisoning continue to be the number one killer of children ages one to 18 in Utah. Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent many of these tragedies from even occurring. Thanks to a generous donation from Intermountain Healthcare, Safe Kids Utah will now be able to expand safety programs across the state such as car seat checkups, ATV safety clinics, and other education programs that teach children, parents, and caregivers how to prevent unintentional childhood injuries.

“When a child dies or is seriously injured, the lives of families and communities are changed forever. But these tragedies don’t have to happen. The important thing to remember about preventable injuries is that they are preventable. They often occur in predictable ways and can be completely avoided with the right education, awareness, and planning,” said Cambree Applegate, Safe Kids Utah director. “This donation will allow Safe Kids Utah to increase our efforts to teach parents how to keep their children safe while at home, at play, or on the road.”

Prevention efforts lead by Safe Kids Utah over the last two decades have worked. From 1999 to 2014, there has been a 60 percent decrease in the rate of unintentional injury deaths among Utah children ages one to 18 (12.9 per 100,000 in 1999 vs. 5.1 in 2014).

“As a not-for-profit healthcare system, Intermountain Healthcare’s priority is to improve health in the communities we serve,” said Mikelle Moore, vice president of Community Benefit for Intermountain Healthcare. “We are grateful to assist Safe Kids Utah to meet their goals to prevent unintentional childhood injuries.”

Safe Kids Utah was organized in 1995 to address the issue of childhood injuries and to look for better ways to keep kids safe. Safe Kids Utah is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization housed within the Utah Department of Health.

“Our vision is to reduce preventable childhood injury. In partnership with Intermountain Healthcare, other valuable partners, and Safe Kids coalitions throughout the state, we advocate for effective laws, educate adults and children to provide safe environments, and empower local communities,” stated Applegate.

Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system based in Salt Lake City. Recognized for its excellent clinical care and low costs, Intermountain strives to help people live the healthiest lives possible.

For more information about preventing child injuries and Safe Kids Utah, visit

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Cambree Applegate
Safe Kids Utah Coordinator
(o) 801-538-6852 (m) 435-862-8773

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

First Case of Zika Virus Disease Reported in Utah

(Salt Lake City) – Utah public health officials have received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a Utah resident has tested positive for the Zika virus. The patient, a child between the ages of two and 10 years, recently traveled to an affected country before returning to Utah. The child exhibited symptoms, including the typical rash, and has not experienced any complications.

“It isn’t surprising that Utah has an imported case of Zika virus since so many of our residents travel to and from areas where the disease is currently being transmitted,” said Dr. Allyn Nakashima, State Epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health (UDOH). She adds, “Zika virus, with the possible link to the birth defect microcephaly, is understandably frightening.” Since there is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus, and no specific medical treatment for those who are infected, the UDOH urges all who may be considering travel to the growing number of affected countries to take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika virus is transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The mosquito that is spreading the virus in the affected countries isn't currently found in Utah. Visit for the most current list of countries affected by Zika virus. Sexual transmission of Zika virus can occur, although there is limited data about the risk. The virus generally only causes fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes, and is almost always a very mild illness. Most people won’t require testing. Approximately 80 percent of those infected never show any symptoms of the disease, while approximately 20 percent will have only mild symptoms.

Public health officials encourage pregnant women to postpone traveling to affected areas, if possible, or talk to their health care provider before considering travel. For anyone who does plan to visit the affected countries, prevention is the best approach to avoiding Zika virus infection. Steps to prevent mosquito bites include using insect repellents containing DEET, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and removing standing water where mosquitoes live and breed.

The UDOH and CDC are monitoring the situation closely.

For more information on Zika virus and how to protect yourself, visit For women who are pregnant and have questions about Zika virus, please call the MotherToBaby program at 1-800-822-2229, text 855-999-3525, or chat live or email

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Media Contact
Becky Ward, UDOH
(o) 801-538-6682
(c) 801-352-1270