Nebraska Injury Prevention and Control News
    Issue #54                                                       January 2016
  Happy New Year!
A big thank you to Emily Bohaty, our communications intern, for redesigning our newsletter. Hopefully you'll find the new look more mobile friendly and easier to navigate and read. Click on the graphics since many of them link directly to websites. We have also added a section to the newsletter that will provide information about the Statewide Trauma System.  
Injury Prevention in the News
Deaths on State Roadways Up    
The Nebraska Department of Roads has recorded 225 traffic fatalities for the year. That is a 13% increase over the same period for the previous four years, and close to the highest level since 2007.
AAA suggests motorists use extra caution, avoid distractions such as cell phones, drive sober, be mindful of other drivers, and wear a seatbelt. The entire story is available here
Upcoming Events
     Child Passenger Safety Technician Update  
March 21-23
Holiday Inn,
Kearney, Nebraska

Safe Travel for All Children Course March 21-22
General CPS Education Information 22-23 

More information about the update will be available soon on the  Safe Kids Nebraska website.
Nebraska Teens in the Driver Seat Summit
When: April 9, 2016, 9am to 5pm
Where: Norfolk Lifelong Learning Center

Interested in displaying your organization's traffic safety materials at the Summit? Please contact Jeanne Bietz at or 402-471-0361.

Child Passenger Safety Technician Training in Nebraska  

2016 class dates for Nebraska:

March 30 - April 2, Scottsbluff

June, Omaha

August, Hastings

September, Lincoln

More information about the classes becoming a CPST is available on the Safe Kids Nebraska website.
Safe Kids Nebraska
Research Finds Increase in Crib Bumper Deaths
According to a new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, the number of deaths attributed to crib bumpers has increased significantly in recent years. Between 2006 and 2012, twenty-three babies died from suffocation attributed to a crib bumper.

That statistic is three times higher than the average number of deaths in the three previous seven-year time spans. In total, between 1985 and 2012, forty-eight babies’ deaths were attributed to crib bumpers. To read the article in its entirety, visit NPR.
Parents Confused When to Switch from Booster Seats to Safety Belts
The Safe Kids Worldwide Survey found 7 of 10 parents of children 4 to 10 years old didn’t know that a child should be at least 4 feet 9 inches tall to ride in a car using a safety belt without a booster seat.
In the article posted by the  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, when asked what the deciding factor in moving their child out of a booster seat to a lap/shoulder belt, 56% of parents cited state laws, child’s comfort, and spouse’s opinion.

Another issue brought forward in the article was carpooling. One out of five parents whose children carpool say then “bend the rules” when they drive. Two-thirds of parents say they notice other carpool drivers bending the rules as well.

Motor Vehicle Safety
New State Fact Sheets
Learn about your state's cost of motor vehicle crash deaths and get more information on evidence-based strategies that are proven to save lives and money. These fact sheets have been developed as a tool to highlight current cost data and strategies proven effective to prevent crashes.                                               
Nebraska's State Fact Sheet: Cost of Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths
Driver Distractions Extend 27 Seconds Beyond Act
According to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, mental distractions can last for as long as 27 seconds after a driver dials a phone number, changes music, or sends a text using voice commands.  Researchers used a five-point scale to rate mental distraction while driving. Category 1 represents a mild level distraction and category 5 represents the maximum. Anything above a level 2 distraction is considered a potential danger. Previous studies established that a category 1 distraction is equivalent to listening to the radio or an audio book. A category 2 distraction is talking on the phone, category 3 is sending voice-activated texts, and a category 4 is updating social media. A category 5 distraction corresponds to a highly challenging scientific test designed to overload a driver’s attention. The entire article, along with a graph can be found here
Federal Safety Regulators Calling for Seat Belts on School Buses
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is calling for seat belts on every school bus in the United States. Approximately four children die each year in school bus related accidents, and according to NHTSA, adding a seatbelt would cut that number in half. Only six states require seat belts on school buses. Adding seat belts to buses is expensive. It costs between $7,000 and $10,000 per bus. If NHTSA has to go through the regulation-making process to get seat belts on school buses, it could take nearly a decade. The full article is available here.
Older Adult Falls
Tai Chi Optimizes the Interaction between Respiration and Postural Control
Georgia Southern University and Harvard Medical School collaborated on a project to examine the effect of Tai Chi training on the interaction been respiration and postural control in older adults. For more information on this study, click here
  US Soccer Outlines New Safety Initiative, Concussion Protocol
Last month the United States Soccer Federation announced a suggested concussion protocol for its members, including a recommendation that headers be banned for players 10 and under, and limited in practice for players 11 to 13. Now, the USSF has created a campaign, Recognize to Recover, with a goal of both reducing injuries and spreading information and awareness about health and safety among coaches, referees, players, and parents. The R2R campaign is addressing not only concussion safety, but also heat-related illness, dehydration, and heart health. For more information click here
Forensic Pathologist Behind Concussion Movie Pens Article About Concussions
Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist behind the movie Concussion, has written an article for The New York Times suggesting we treat football as we treat alcohol and cigarette smoking.

“We’ve known since 1964 that cigarette smoking is harmful to your health. We’ve known for more than 40 years that alcohol damages the developing brain of a child. We’ve known since the mid-70s that asbestos causes cancer and other serious diseases. Knowing what we know now, we do not smoke in enclosed public spaces like airplanes; we have passed laws to keep children from smoking or drinking alcohol; and we do not use asbestos as an industrial product.

"As we become more intellectually sophisticated and advanced, with greater and broader access to information and knowledge, we have given up old practices in the name of safety and progress. That is, except when it comes to sports,” Omalu writes.
He continues to discuss the effects that playing football as a child can have on a person over a lifetime.
Prescription Drug Overdose
Prescription Painkillers and the Workforce
According to the CDC over 16,000 Americans died from prescription painkiller overdoses in 2013, quadruple the total in 1999. In a 2014 study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, 65% to 85% of injured workers received narcotic painkillers.
Earlier this year, NSC polled 1,014 adults, 427 of whom reported having been prescribed an opioid painkiller within the previous three years. Nearly half of users participated in potentially unsafe activity while using an opioid. 39% went to work, 35% drove a vehicle, and 14% operated heavy machinery. For the remainder of the article, visit

The Statewide Trauma System is a network of definitive care facilities that provide a spectrum of care for all injured patients.  The ultimate goal of this system is to improve the chance of survival of your families, friends, and neighbors in your community and across the state. 

Currently, 48 hospitals across the state hold the distinguished certification of a State Designated Trauma Hospital.  These facilities work hard to prepare their hospital and staff to deliver exceptional care to trauma patients by providing additional education to staff and resources to improve patient outcomes.  They also provide data for further research within our state and nationally, as well as working to reach out within their own communities to prevent the very injuries that the system is established to recognize and treat.  
Furthermore within the Statewide system is an established Trauma Education and Prevention committee which is made up of Trauma Nurse Coordinators and Injury Prevention Specialists across the state.  This committee’s focus is to collaborate and share ideas focusing on the prevention of traumatic injuries within the state. 

For more information about the statewide system or the Trauma Education and Prevention Committee please contact: Sherri Wren, MPA – Trauma Program Manager or Crystal Dailey RN, BSN, EMT – Trauma Nurse Specialist or visit our website.
Quick Links
Contact Information

Peg Ogea-Ginsburg, MA                  
Injury Prevention Program Coordinator   

Jason Kerkman, MPH 
Safe Kids Nebraska 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.