Nebraska Injury Prevention and Control News
    Issue #56                                                    March 2016
Injury Prevention in the News
Flying Lantern Ban Becomes Official
LB136, legislation prohibiting flying lanterns in Nebraska has been signed into law. The statute defines this as, "f lying lantern-type devices means devices that require a flame which produces heated air trapped in a balloon-type covering allowing the device to float in the air." Hot air balloons are excluded from this definition. This legislation is an answer to the fire hazards that come along with the lanterns. The full article is available here. 
Buffett: Auto Insurance Rates Are Going Up, Distracted Drivers a Problem
Warren Buffett told CNBC that auto insurance rates are going to go up in 2016 because of the frequency and severity of motor vehicle collisions in 2015. According the the National Safety Council, traffic deaths in the US rose 8% from 2014 to 2015. Buffett attributed distracted driving to lower profits at Geico, one of Buffett's company's holdings. The entire article 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
Registration for the special needs training is now open. The class is limited to 20 participants.

General CPS Education Information 22-23 
Registration for the update is available 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 or attending? Please contact Jeanne Bietz at or 402-471-0361.

Child Passenger Safety Technician Training in Nebraska  

2016 class dates for Nebraska:

OPEN FOR REGISTRATIONMarch 30 - April 2, Scottsbluff

June, Omaha

August, Hastings

September, Lincoln

To register for the classes or for more information about becoming a CPST go to the Safe Kids Nebraska website.
Safe Kids Nebraska
Poison Prevention
March 20-26 is Poison Prevention Week. According to, " More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the 57 poison control centers across the country. More than 90 percent of these poisonings occur in the home. The majority of non-fatal poisonings occur in children younger than 6 years old. And, poisonings are one of the leading causes of death among adults." 

Here are a few tips, provided by SafeKids, for poison prevention:
-Store household products out of children's sight and reach. 
-Install child safety locks on cabinets
-Read product labels. Many common household objects, including makeup, plants, pesticides, lead, and art supplies, can be dangerous for children.
-Don't leave poisonous products unattended while in use. 
-Keep products in their original packaging to avoid confusion. 
-Add the toll-free Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) to your cell phone and home phone speed dial. 
-Remove any peeling paint or chewable surfaces with lead-based paint. 

Here are a few extra poison prevention tips.
Child Passenger Safety Posters  Available

Safe Kids Nebraska has developed a new child passenger safety poster. This colorful 18 x 24 poster emphasizes best practice guidelines for car seat use such as rear facing until at least age 2 and booster seat us until proper seat belt fit. The poster was designed to educate parents and caregivers on the correct stages of car seat use. The poster was developed using best practice guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safe Kids Worldwide and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

If your office is interested in displaying these free posters, please contact Jason Kerkman, Safe Kids Nebraska Coordinator by email at or by phone at 402-471-8749. Please include person’s name requesting posters, shipping address and quantity needed.

Motor Vehicle Safety
Updated Prevention Status Reports: Motor Vehicle Injury
The updated PSRs include new details and recommendations for Graduated Drivers License (GDL). Research indicates more comprehensive GDL systems prevent crashes and save lives, in comparison to less comprehensive GDL systems.

The PSR also discusses seat belts, car seats, booster seats, and ignition interlock devices. The PSR is available online .  
Sleeping Pills May Spell Trouble for Older Drivers
Older drivers who use sleeping pills may have a higher risk of motor vehicle crashes, a new study suggests. After looking at five years of driving records of 2,000 Alabama residents, aged 70 and older, women who used Ambien had a 61% higher probability of a crash to nonusers. The study was only designed to find an association between car accidents and sleeping pill use, not a cause and effect. The article can be found on the
Older Adult Falls
New CDC Studies on EMS and Prevention Opportunities
Among people aged 65 and older, falling is the leading cause of emergency room visits. The CDC conducted a study focused on determining where falls occur and under which circumstances patients were transported by EMS. The goal was to identify future fall prevention opportunities. The study may be found here.
Spring Sports and Concussions
As spring sports get underway, remember that there are many resources related to concussions available.  The NE DHHS Injury Prevention website has resources and links.  The CDC website has many resources available in their HEADS UP Resource Center. One of the newer resources is the HEADS Up app.  The CDC HEADS UP Concussion and Helmet Safety app will help you learn how to spot a possible concussion and what to do if you think your child or teen has a concussion or other serious brain injury. The application also includes a 3D helmet fit feature that teaches about proper helmet fit, safety and care.
Brain Injury Awareness Month
Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths. A traumatic brain injury—or TBI—is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head and can affect how a person feels, thinks, acts, and learns. 

For more information on brain injuries, visit the CDC's website.
Prescription Drug Overdose
Updated Prevention Status Report, Prescription Drug Overdose
Updated Prevention Status Report have been released. The newest update includes new details and recommended components of universal, mandated use of prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) policies for prescription drug overdose.

For the complete update, visit
Anxiety Drug Overdoses Have Quadrupled Over the Last Two Decades
According to a new study, Americans are taking more anxiety medications and overdosing on them than ever before. The quantity of anxiety drug prescriptions tripled between 1996 and 2013, during the same time period overdoses quadrupled.

It is hard to pinpoint the reason overdoses increased so much. Researches speculated it could have something to do with the length of time in which people are on anxiety medication, or people who don't have prescriptions could be obtaining the drug. The article is available here .
Causes of Traumatic Injury in the State of Nebraska, 2010-2014
A requirement of trauma designated hospitals is to report cases of traumatic injuries that present to their facility to the Nebraska Trauma Registry. The purpose of the Trauma Registry is to provide statistical data to further evaluate the statewide programs effectiveness, provide information for injury prevention, and be a source of information for epidemiological programs.  In a review of the 2010-2014 Nebraska Trauma Registry data, the leading causes of trauma injury were falls, motor vehicle traffic (MVT) incidents, and firearm.  
Falls in Nebraska occurred greatest in patients 65 years and older (62%) and traumatic injuries due to falls drastically increased in this same age group.  MVT incidents are most affecting those 15 -24 years of age (27%), and firearm injuries occurred more in men (86%).  Firearm injuries exhibited the highest case fatality rate, 13.36 per 100 cases.  The second leading cause of fatality related to trauma injury was motor vehicle traffic incidents, which affected 3.02 per 100 cases.

The Trauma Registry information provided shows the leading cause of injuries that affect Nebraskan’s which lead to fatality.  Due to the Trauma Registry, we have data to drive injury prevention programs within our communities and across the state that help to reduce fatal injuries in Nebraska.  For more information regarding the Nebraska Trauma Registry contact: Andrew Ngochoch, State Trauma Registrar at or 402-471-1370 or Crystal Dailey RN, Trauma Nurse Specialist at or 402-722-4300.

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.