August 12, 2010 / 8:23 PM / 9 years ago

Madison safest city for U.S. children: magazine

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Children in America are safest in Madison, Wisconsin, and face the greatest risk of danger in Jacksonville, Florida, according to a new survey.

Honolulu came in second, followed by San Francisco in the Men’s Health Magazine report, while New Orleans and Baltimore were among seven cities that received a failing grade.

“We wanted to get a sense of where kids around the country are safest, or in some danger,” said Matt Marion, deputy editor at Men’s Heath.

The ranking was based on criteria such as accidental deaths, car-seat inspections, bike-helmet laws, the number of sex offenders per capita and child abuse in 100 of the most populous U.S. cities.

“I think it’s great, and I think it’s a reflection of the reality here,” said Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.

“We have a very strong social service system. We fund domestic abuse programs, and we’re working a safe route to school program to make it safer for kids to bike and walk,” he added.

Virginia Beach in Virginia, Spokane in Washington and Providence, Rhode Island also scored high marks in the ranking,

Marion said the magazine looked into child safety because summer is coming to a close and parents are getting ready for school.

“It can be an anxious time. We want people to give it the attention it deserves,” he explained. “We just want to say it can be done, children can be made more safe.”

This isn’t the first time Madison has topped the magazine lists. It also ranked high for its low cancer risks, for being among the quietest cities and for having the least sleep-deprived residents.

“Certain cities just keep finishing near the top. It’s instructive to other cities,” said Marion. “There are cities that tend to finish near the bottom as well. We hope they can pull as much as they can from the better cities.”

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