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Top 10 Safest Cities in America for Kids

Men’s Health magazine has ranked 100 American cities from safest to most dangerous.  To determine which cities were best for kids, Men’s Health factored the accidental death rates for children ages 5 to 14; number of car-seat inspection locations per child/per state; number of child predators per capita; percentage of abused children protected from further abuse; and strength of child-restraint and bike-helmet laws.

Will the rankings surprise you?  Take a look:
 
The Top 10 Safest Cities for Children are:

1.) Madison, Wisconsin

2.) Honolulu, Hawaii

3.) San Francisco, California

4.) Virginia Beach, Virginia

5.) Spokane, Washington

6.) Providence, Rhode Island

7.) Jersey City, New Jersey

8.) Colorado Springs, Colorado

9.) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

10.) Burlington, Vermont 
 
It’s probably no surprise that Madison is the number one safest city for kids.  Madison is known to be a progressive playland, where dairy cows and English professors mingle in the parking lot of Whole Foods.  According to the Greater Madison Convention and Visitor Bureau, the city boasts 13 beaches, a public pool and over 260 parks.  They’re also home to a zoo, botanical gardens, the UW Arboretum, a children’s museum and the Cave of the Mounds, a national natural landmark.

But what are the worst American cities for kids?  The very least safe city in the U.S. for children is Jacksonville, Florida, due to its poor rankings in every category:

Accidental Deaths: 86th
Car-Seat Inspection Locations: 100th
Sex Offenders: 53rd
Abused-Children Protection: 68th

Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida and is known for its riverfront landing and beaches.  But it’s a town geared toward adults; on the Visitor’s Bureau website in the free activities category of the Family Travel section, the first “educational” event listed under the heading Free Time to Learn is a tour of the Budweiser Brewery.

The final nine in the Top 10 Least Safe Cities for Children are:

1.) New Orleans, Louisiana

2.) Baltimore, Maryland

3.) Bakersfield, California

4.) Tulsa, Oklahoma

5.) Modesto, California

6.) Grand Rapids, Michigan

7.) Fresno, California

8.) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

9.) Corpus Christi, Texas

Three cities in California and two in Oklahoma!  I never would have guessed.  As for America’s largest metropolitan areas, Chicago ranked 22nd, Boston and New York ranked 39th and 40th, respectively, and Los Angeles ranked 47th.  To see where your city ranks, visit Men’s Health online, or pick up a copy of the September issue, on newsstands now.

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