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Fort Myers Will “Go Green” This Year on National Injury Prevention Day

Democracy Watch

Fort Myers City Council passed a motion this week to encourage all area businesses and local government agencies to shine green lights on their buildings, monuments, and thoroughfares across Lee County once the sun sets on Nov. 18. This is a part of an effort to promote awareness of National Injury Prevention Day. The motion was made by Councilmember Darla Bonk in response to an email from Injury Prevention Resource Manager Syndi Bultman of the Lee Health Trauma District.

“Did you know that injuries are the leading cause of death and disability to U.S. children 1 to 18 years old?” Bultman asked in the document she sent out. “Every day 20 children needlessly die from preventable injuries, injury and violence.”

Last year was the first time anyone has ever recognized National Injury Prevention Day. Nonetheless, the Johns Hopkins dome in Baltimore, the Hemsley Building on Park Avenue in New York and The Prudential Building in Boston were just a few of the locations across the country that lit up green to raise awareness.

“Injuries are the number one cause of death until adults are 44 years old. Injuries lead to more deaths than all other diseases combined,” Bultman said. “There is good news. Many of these injuries are preventable with the use of safety practices, products, and policies.”

Lee Health Trauma Injury Prevention and the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida have joined forces with Safe States, Safe Kids Worldwide, American Trauma Society, Injury Free Coalition for Kids and many other organizations to promote awareness on National Injury Prevention Day, according to Bultman.

Councilmember Jonny W. Streets, Jr. asked if there was a particular building the city would need to light up.

“I don't know that they ask for a particular building but it's just encouraging businesses, whether it's city hall or any of our buildings that we have that can do it,” Bonk said. “If you need help with the green light bulbs, we’ll help. Any of that kind of stuff, just to help in partnership to raise awareness.”

At the least, Fort Myers will light up the city hall, said Bonk. Her motion passed with little discussion and no opposition.

On Nov. 18, Lee Health Trauma Injury Prevention and Safe Kids Southwest Florida will be sending out practical tips through multiple media outlets. Their goal is to deliver prevention education to the community and its business partners.

“This interdisciplinary approach is designed to unite our voices as we stand together on this day to collectively proclaim: Injury Prevention Matters!” Bultman said.

For more information about shining your green light on National Injury Prevention day, visit www.injuryfree.org.

This story was produced by Democracy Watch, a news service of Florida Gulf Coast University journalism students. The reporter can be reached at spsalovitz9028@eagle.fgcu.edu.