Nebraska Injury Prevention and Control News
    Issue #57                                                   Apri 2016
Injury Prevention in the News
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Distracted Driving is an epidemic. In 2014 alone, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers across the United States. At any given daylight moment across America,  660,000 drivers are using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving.

Distracted driving comes in many forms. It includes using a cell phone, eating, and grooming yourself while driving. Any activity that takes your eyes or mind off the road is a distraction. The three main types of distracted driving are:
1. Manual
            -Activities that require you to take one or both hands off the wheel.             
            -Examples: applying makeup, eating, adjusting the radio
2. Visual
            -Activities that require you take your eyes off the road.
            -Examples: operating a GPS, searching for an item, perusing a music playlist
3. Cognitive
             -Activities that keep your mind from focusing on the road.               
             -Examples: talking to passengers, checking your email, day dreaming

The goal of Distracted Driving Awareness Month is to shine a light on this very serious issue. For more information, as well as marketing tools visit  Traffic Safety Marketing and the National Safety Council.

Nebraska State Patrol Addresses Distracted Driving and Seat Belt Use
With prom and graduation celebrations approaching, the Nebraska State Patrol is bringing awareness to teen drivers on the importance of seat belt use and not driving distracted. Through funding from the Nebraska Office of Highway, schools can have a safety presentation conducted for their students. For more information on the program, go to  channel 10/11 .
Upcoming Events
Child Passenger Safety Technician Training in Nebraska  

2016 class dates for Nebraska:

June 1-4, Omaha

Registration is now open.

August 30 - Sept 1, Hastings

Registration is now open.

September, Lincoln

To register for classes or for more information about becoming a CPST go to the Safe Kids Nebraska website.
Safe Kids Nebraska
Child Passenger Safety
Instructor of the Year

The National Child Passenger Safety Board (NCPSB) is pleased to announce the 2016 Instructor of the Year is Mark Van Horn, a retired state trooper from Chadron, NE. He was nominated by, Jeanne Bietz. The NCPSB recognizes one exemplary instructor for their work and dedication to this field annually.

Trooper Van Horn was one of the nation’s first CPS Technicians and Instructors, certified in Lake Charles, LA, in July of 1997. He was mentored by NHTSA’s Sherri Cannon and completed the instructor certification course in September, 1998, in Lawrence, KS. 

Congratulations on your award and a big thank you for all of your years of CPS work.   Read the entire article
Safe Kids Day 2016
Safe Kids World Wide will host their national signature event in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 24. Safe Kids invites coalitions to participate in Safe Kids Day and hold events any time in Spring 2016

This years theme is My High 5. It is a perfect way to celebrate Safe Kids Day and make your home safer at the same time. We all have different safety priorities based on the ages and stages of our children. My High 5 makes it easy for you to pick the safety actions that make the most sense for you and your family. On the My High 5 website   you'll find ready-made My High 5 checklists. These provide top tips according to your child's location (Home, Play or Road) or age (Babies, Little Kids, Big Kids, Pre-teens/Teens).

Kids are going to fall, crash, slip, explore. It's part of being a kid. But we can protect them from serious injuries - like car crashes, fires, drowning or falls - that end lives or change them forever.

Preventable injuries are the #1 killer of kids in the U.S. and each year a million families around the world lose a child to these injuries

Find the local Safe Kids Coalition near you to get involved in preventing injuries in children. 
National Youth Sports Safety Month
April is National Youth Sports Safety Month. From kicking goals to running touchdowns, there are an endless variety of sport activities for kids to get involved. While sports keep kids active and healthy, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep kids safe:

-Before playing organized sports, make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam (PPE).

-Bring a water bottle to practices and games. It is important to stay hydrated before, during, and after a game.

-Stretching helps to prevent sports related injuries.

-Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

-Take time off from one sport to prevent overuse injuries.

A comprehensive factsheet can be found at
Motor Vehicle Safety
Autonomous Braking to be in Most Cars by 2022
Major automakers and the US government have reached an agreement to make automatic emergency braking standard equipment on most cars, by 2022.

Automatic emergency braking uses cameras, radar, and sensors to determine if an object is in the way of the car, and then slow or stop the vehicle if the driver doesn't react.

According to a study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, cars with automatic braking can cut rear-end crashes by approximately 40%. That number represents 13% of all crashes. 

The article can be found here.
Robotics Expert: Self-Driving Cars Not Ready for Deployment
Missy Cummings, director of Duke University's robotics program, told the Senate commerce committee self-driving cars are "absolutely not" ready for widespread use. These cars aren't ready for bad weather, including standing water, drizzling rain, sudden downpours, or snow. They aren't equipped to follow directions of a police officer either. Cummings also said it is relatively easy for hackers to take control of the GPS navigation systems, at this time.  For more on self-driving cars, visit the Journal Star's website.
Teen Driver Experiences Survey Results
As part of the Teens in the Driver Seat program, participating schools conduct a teen driver experiences survey to find out what teen drivers know and do when it comes to driving. The survey provides guidance on what areas need to be focused on, improvements that have been made on what students know and do and overall program outcomes.

Contact Jeanne Bietz at for more information.
Older Adult Falls
Know the Facts: Older Adult Falls
Did you know:

-1 out of 5 falls causes a serious injury, such as a broken bone or head injury

-Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in the ER for fall injuries

-Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries

-Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $34 billion annually.

The CDC's website offers more statistics and information on falls.
Effect of Tai Chi on Strength and Function of Lower Limbs in the Elderly
A new study, in China, observed the effect of Tai Chi training on strength and function of lower limbs in senior citizens. Sixty people participated in the study. Half of the group received Tai Chi training 5 days a week for 18 months. Compared to the control group, the group with Tai Chi training increased their score on the Berg balance scale by 4.3%.  
The CDC Injury Center created a new  video , #ThankYouCoach, to honor coaches who work to keep athletes active, healthy, and safe from concussion and other brain injuries. 

Visit the HEADS UP website to learn more about Brain Injury Awareness.
Final Three Concussion Recognition & Management Modules Available
The DHHS and the Nebraska Concussion Coalition has finished the final three modules in their six part series focused on concussion recognition and management. This effort aims to educate licensed health care professionals on the importance of staying current on concussion care. The modules can be found at
NFL Shifts on Concussions
Jeff Miller, the NFL's Senior Vice President for Health and Safety Policy, affirmed that a link exists between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). NFL spokesman, Brian McCarthy, confirmed, "The comments made by Jeff Miller yesterday accurately reflect the view of the NFL."

The admission is a complete shift for the league. For the entire article click here.
Prescription Drug Overdose
    New Team DHHS Injury Prevention Team Member  
Amy Reynoldson
Amy joins our team as the Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Coordinator . 

Here are a few words from Amy.

I was born and raised in central Nebraska and have called Eagle, Nebraska my home for the past 14 years. I am married and have a 23 year old step-son. I attended UNL and received my Bachelors of Science degree in secondary special education. I taught and coached for Lincoln Northeast High School and Waverly High School before leaving the teaching field.  I spent over 11 years working in substance abuse prevention at Region V Systems as a Prevention Specialist. The last nine months I was the Stakeholder Liaison at Magellan Health before coming to DHHS as the Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Coordinator. I am excited to be working the prevention field again and look forward to assisting with the efforts directed towards reducing prescription drug overdoses in the state of Nebraska.      
CDC Releases Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
The CDC has released a guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. In the US, prescriptions of opioids have quadrupled since 1999. The goal of this guideline is to help primary care providers ensure patient treatment is the safest, most effective available.

The press release is available here.
The  guideline can be found here.
CARA Bill Aims to Change Drug Policy
The US Senate voted to advance the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which would allow the attorney general to give money to programs that strengthen prescription drug monitoring, improve treatment for addicts, and expand prevention and education initiatives. The bill has advanced to the House of Representatives. More information is available here.
The National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere to sponsor National Youth Violence Prevention week ampaign April 4-8, 2016

Youth violence in American is a significant health problem. According to the CDC, in 2010, more than 738,000 young people ages 10 -24 were treated in emergency department for assault-related injuries. Homicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24, and in just one year cost Americans an estimated $16.2 billion in lifetime combined medical and work loss costs.  

The National Association of Students against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) is a founding partner of the National Youth Violence Prevention Week Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to educate and raise awareness to prevent and reduce youth violence. Students, parents, teachers, school administrators, counselors, school staff and the public are the focus of the education efforts. SAVE provides countless resources to prepare for the weeklong event, and has a step-by-step planning guide in its official campaign Action Kit. This kit can be utilized in your own community Trauma outreach to prevent youth violence. For more information visit the SAVE website or contact Crystal Dailey RN, Trauma Nurse Specialist, 402-722-4300, for more information.

 Safety Observances

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April 1-30, 2016

April 1-30, 2016

April 7, 2016

April 16-23, 2016

Quick Links
Contact Information

Peg Ogea-Ginsburg, MA                  
Injury Prevention Program Coordinator   

Jason Kerkman, MPH 
Safe Kids Nebraska Coordinator 

Amy Reynoldson
Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Coordinator

Jeanne Bietz, MA                                             Motor Vehicle Policy Grant Project Coordinator

Ashley Newmyer, MPH, CPH
Epidemiology Surveillance Coordinator
Injury Prevention and Control E-News is a monthly newsletter distributed to partners of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Injury Prevention and Control Program.