Nebraska Injury Prevention and Control News
    Issue #65                                                    December 2016
Injury Prevention in the News
Children's Safety Network Releases 2016 Injury Data Fact Sheets
 The Children’s Safety Network (CSN) has posted state-by-state injury data fact sheets for 2016 with analyses of childhood injury fatalities and hospitalizations, and each sheet has a rich compilation of timely, pertinent information for injury prevention stakeholders and practitioners.

To see Nebraska's 2016 fact sheet click  here
Seat Belt Use Reaches Historic High
    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , seat belt use has reached a historic high of 90%. In 2015, seat belts saved nearly 14,000 lives and since 1975 nearly 345,000 have been saved.
Upcoming Events
  Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Law enforcement agencies across the state will be participating in Drive Sober or Get Pulled a selective overtime enforcement activity. This selective enforcement will take place December 19 through January 1. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is a national campaign through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Safe Kids Nebraska
Toy Safety 

It's that time of the year again. With so many new toys on the market, it's easy for parents to forget toy safety in the rush to finish holiday shopping. The good news is that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have already prevented many unsafe toys from hitting the shelves and toy recalls have dramatically declined overall. Unfortunately, many toys can still be dangerous when used improperly or by younger children.  For materials on toy safety, visit the Children's Safety Network website.

Save The Date
Nebraska Child Passenger Safety Technician Update/Training

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nebraska Innovation Campus
2021 Transformation Dr. Lincoln, NE 68508
Motor Vehicle Safety
Motor Vehicle Safety Resources for Tribal Communities
American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have the highest motor vehicle-related death rates of all racial and ethnic groups, with rates two to three times greater than the rates of other Americans. The following resources can help equip tribal communities to apply motor vehicle injury prevention programs that effectively increase child safety seat use, increase seat belt use, and decrease alcohol-impaired driving.

Public Health Strategies for Motor Vehicle Safety
The  Public Health Strategies for Motor Vehicle Safety guides summarize evidence-based findings and recommendations addressing programs, services, and policies from research studies and national traffic safety organizations.
These guides are designed to act as a resource for those interested in traffic safety. Implementing these evidence-based strategies will help achieve the goal of Toward Zero Deaths in Nebraska. The topics currently covered are child passenger safety, teen driver safety, seat belt use, motorcycle safety and distracted driving.

Older Adult Falls

"Winterize" To Prevent Falls

Here are some steps you can take today to reduce falls among older adults in your community.

"Winterize" shoes, boots, and assistive devices

  • Choose winter shoes with rubber soles to maintain traction on slippery surfaces
  • Attach an ice gripper cane tip to penetrate the ice and secure a firm grip

Carry kitty litter for slick surfaces

  • Encourage older adults to carry a zip top bag filled with a lightweight kitty litter in their pocket and cast it out ahead of themselves on slick surfaces

Screen older adults for fall risk

  • Health care providers: begin to check ALL older adults with the STEADI fall risk screening tool

Give the gift of fall prevention

  • Encourage adult children to give fall-proofing holiday gifts to their parents

Help make this season a safe, warm, and wonderful one for your patients, family, and community!

    CDC Fall Reduction Tips

  • Ask your doctor how to prevent falls and tell him or her if you have fallen recently.

  • Be sure your doctor knows all the medications you take

  • Have your eyes checked at least once a year and be sure you use an up-to-date eyeglass prescription.

  • Stay active and take part in programs to boost your strength and balance, such a s Tai Chi.

  • Remove all trip and fall hazards in your home.

 Visit the CDC page for more information about older adult falls

Study of Brain Injury to Better Determine Cause and Effect

Researchers at John Hopkins University have been developing methods of detecting a brain injury in living subjects to determine a better cause and effect.

"The exciting part of our new findings is that we now believe we have a useful tool to monitor the brains of NFL players and athletes in other contact sports," says Jennifer Coughlin, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins. "We can measure TSPO, a PET biomarker of brain injury, in these younger players, and we can now begin to follow it over time to see if the brain is repairing itself or not."

"I Need My Brain"
A story of two football players and two different decisions to stay or leave the game of football due to a concussion.
Prescription Drug Overdose

The holiday season is around the corner. With family coming into town make sure your medications are secure. Your medications can easily fall into the wrong hands resulting in drug misuse or accidental poisoning. According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, "the vast majority of teens abusing prescription drugs are getting them from the medicine cabinets of friends, family and acquaintances." Do your part to prevent drug abuse and accidental poisoning and take back your unused, expired, or leftover medications to one of the nearly 300 pharmacies across the state participating in the Nebraska MEDS initiative.

The Nebraska MEDS initiative educates Nebraskans about drug disposal and provides safe ways to dispose of medications to better protect public health and safeguard the environment. Pharmacies participating in the initiative can safely dispose of medications year-round, preventing them from falling into the wrong hands and keeping them out of our waterways. Go to or call the Nebraska Regional Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to find a participating pharmacy near you.

Since August 2012, over 33,000 pounds of medication have been collected by Nebraska pharmacies for proper disposal. Be part of the solution and take back your leftovers before the holiday season. 

State Polices Reduce Opioid Overdoses
According to  Health Affairs research findings, certain state policies to reduce inappropriate prescribing significantly reduced amounts prescribed and prescription opioid death rates during 2006-2013.  The 38 state study revealed that combined implementation of mandate provider review of state-run prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data and pain clinic laws reduced amounts of opioids prescribed by 8 percent and overdose deaths by 12%.

Injury Prevention Focuses on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention

Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning can results from faulty furnaces or other health appliance, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or cars left running in the garage. It’s a silent killer that permeates the home or apartment without landlords, residents, or property managers even knowing it until it’s too late. Carbon Monoxide has no color, smell, or taste and produces symptoms often mistake for the flu. The gas can induce sleepiness, headaches, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, shortness of breath, or ultimately death.  At its worse, carbon monoxide can cause severe side effects or even death.  Over 10,000 are poised by carbon monoxide needing medical treatment each year, over 500 people in the US die annually from the poisoning.  

Due to high numbers of illness and death, state legislatures have implemented law that mandate the use of carbon monoxide detectors. In Nebraska, the Carbon Monoxide Safety Act requires any dwelling with a fuel-fired heater, fireplace or attached garage have a carbon monoxide alarm installed on each floor or in a location required by the building code. Currently, CO detectors are not mandated in schools, hotels or motels. Local governments may adopt more stringent provisions for the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms. According to the Nebraska Regional Poison Center, CO calls have shown a 13% increase between 2014- 2015.  During that year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Nebraska as one of the states with the highest mortality rate from carbon monoxide. The Nebraska Legislature passed a bill in 2015 that requires carbon monoxide detectors be installed when homes are sold, rented or significantly renovated. The new law goes into effect January 1st, 2017.

 For more information regarding opportunities for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention in your area or for further questions, contact Crystal Dailey RN – Trauma Nurse Specialist @ 402-722-4300 or

  The Nebraska Statewide Trauma System wants to prevent you from becoming a statistic of motor vehicle crashes.  Be smart and do your part to be a responsible driver this holiday season.  For more information about the Nebraska Statewide Trauma System or for questions please contact: Crystal Dailey RN, BSN, Trauma Nurse Specialist, DHHS EMS/Trauma Program at or 402-722-4300.  

 Safety Observances

November 1, 2016- January 1, 2017



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

Felicia Quintana-Zinn, MS, MBA
Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Epidemiologist

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.