Free Home Safety Items for Families

Staff Writer

Are you unsure of what safety items your home needs to protect children from injury? Don’t worry, the Gear-Up Safety Program can help. Any family from Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall, or St. Joseph counties with a child age 0-14 years old living in the home is eligible for this free home safety program provided by Lutheran Social Services, in partnership with SCAN (Stop Child Abuse & Neglect).

Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death and disability in children 14 years old and younger in the United States. Childproofing your home is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent accidental injury and death of your little ones. Families enrolled in the Gear-Up Safety Program receive the following in-home services to reduce their child’s risk of unintentional injury…
· Home safety assessment to identify household hazards and the family’s needs
· Installation and the provision of home safety items and education and/or training on the safety topics identified by the family
· Follow-up to ensure items meet the safety needs of the family

Families who enroll are provided a wide range of free safety gear to best prevent child injury and death in their homes. The Gear-Up Safety Program focuses on providing safe sleep environments, such as cribs or pack-n-plays, where an infant can sleep alone - without another child or adult, loose bedding or soft toys - which research shows may lead to accidental suffocation or strangulation of the infant. Additional safety items available at no cost may include, but are not limited to: carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, outlet covers, baby locks, baby gates, helmets, life jackets, and fire extinguishers.

You can play a life-saving role in protecting children from injuries. To enroll in the Gear-Up Safety Program, refer a family who may be interested, of if you would like more information about the program, please contact Libby Martin, Program Supervisor, at 888-722-3678 or LMartin@lssin.org.

SCAN, Inc (Stop Child Abuse & Neglect.) is a 501(c)3 organization providing child abuse and neglect prevention as well as family preservation programs to 19 northeast and north central Indiana counties. The Gear-Up Safety Program is made possible by Indiana prevention funds through which SCAN contracts Lutheran Social Services of Indiana to provide the program to families looking to childproof their homes.

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