Hundreds of local children and their families combined education with games,
demonstrations and refreshments at “Play It Safe.”
The second annual interactive event was sponsored by North Oaks Health
System, which earned designation as a
Level II Trauma Center in 2015, and more than 30 community partners on Sept. 10 in Historic Downtown
Hammond’s Cate Square.
“A big part of our Trauma Center’s mission is to provide education
to minimize the occurrence of preventable injuries in our region, which
are the #1 cause of death among children in the U.S. according to
Safe Kids Worldwide,” stated Katie Sheets, Director of Trauma/Certified Programs Director
at North Oaks.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the park was organized into “zones”
highlighting safety and injury prevention tips involving the home, sports,
outdoors and motor vehicles. Snack and fun zones also were featured.
A grant from the Hammond Rotary club resulted in more than 200 children
receiving free bike helmets, which were fitted by representatives from
Gray Cat CycleWorx. Mike Williams, Hammond City Council President and
member of the Hammond Rotary Club, points to the organization’s
passion for serving others, especially children, as the club’s motivation
for contributing bike helmets.
“We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this great event,”
Williams affirms. “And the North Oaks Trauma Center designation
is a huge asset to our region and the City of Hammond.”
Play It Safe is a community outreach effort of North Oaks Medical Center’s
Level II Trauma Center.
In July, the Trauma Center earned official verification from the
American College of Surgeons' (ACS) Committee on Trauma, becoming one of only five trauma centers in
the state. It has trauma surgeons in-house at the hospital 24/7 to attend
to victims suddenly stricken by serious traumatic injury. The hospital’s
Trauma Center serves patients in Region 9, which includes Tangipahoa,
Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany and Washington parishes.
One area of increasing concern for area law enforcement and health care
providers alike is All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) safety, which was emphasized
in the Wheel Zone with the assistance of Alexis Ducorbier Insurance Agency.
“An increase in the number of patients treated as a result of ATV
crashes actually was the push for Play It Safe to be organized,”
explains Tyler Brignac, a trauma performance improvement nurse with North
Oaks Health System. “When we saw an uptick in the number of children
and adults suffering head and neck injuries, broken limbs and even death
from ATV rollovers and collisions, we knew we had to do something to bring
ATV safety to the forefront. Play It Safe was born and just grew to include
other community safety concerns from there.”
The importance of preventing injury motivated Nicole Nichols, of Tickfaw,
to bring her children to the event.
“This is our first time coming,” notes Nichols. “My children
are always on their skates and bikes, so I like the fact that this event
stresses wearing helmets.”
Children had the opportunity to tour their favorite rescue wheel, including
a Hammond Fire Department ladder truck and an Acadian ambulance. Nichols’
son emphasized that his favorite part of the day was touring the fire
truck and watching the State Police car demonstration on seat belt use.
According to North Oaks organizer Ashley Miller, the event was successful
in large part because of its community partners: Acadian Ambulance Services;
Alexis Ducorbier Insurance Agency; All American Healthcare; Animal Care
Center & Pet Care Center; Berrytown Produce; Champagne Beverage Co.;
Chick-fil-A; Child Advocacy Services (CASA); City of Hammond; Cricket
Wireless; Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa; Cupcake Concept; Daily Star; Domino’s;
GreyCat Cycle Worx; Hammond Fire Department; Hammond Kiwanis Club; Hammond
Rotary Club; Ideal You at North Oaks; Louisiana Children’s Discovery
Center; Louisiana Search and Rescue K9 Team; Louisiana State Police Troop
L; North Oaks Nutritional Services; North Oaks Primary Care – Independence;
North Oaks Shock Trauma Center; North Oaks Sports Medicine; North Oaks
Rehabilitation Services; Northshore Broadcasting; North Shore Safety Coalition;
Perfectly Fit; Raising Cane’s; Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority Gamma
Mu Chapter; St. Tammany Parish Hospital Parenting Center; Tangipahoa 9-1-1;
Theta Phi Alpha Sorority Beta Epsilon Chapter and TRACC Coalition KEYS Alliance.
To learn more about Play It Safe and the North Oaks Medical Center Trauma
Center, watch the recap video above or call North Oaks Public Relations
at (985) 230-6647.