Nebraska Injury Prevention and Control News
    Issue #64                                                    November 2016
Injury Prevention in the News
Helicopter Parents Might Be Creating a Hazard for Driving Teens
The Washington Post reported that parents can't resist texting their teen even though they know they are driving.  The Post's story revealed that eighty-seven percent of parents who responded said they enforce texting and driving rules. Yet 50 percent admitted that they texted their teenager even though they knew their teenager was driving. As if that’s not bad enough, the survey found that 29 percent of those parents expected a response before their child reached their destination.
Concussion Rates Up
  KETV reported the concussion rates are up based on a study by Blue Cross Blue Shield.  The study found that more cases are being diagnosed and treated especially since the passing of the Nebraska Concussion Awareness Act of 2012. There is more awareness and education around the topic in various sports.
Upcoming Events
  MADD: Tie One On For Safety

With holidays approaching, you can show your support to eliminating drunk driving by visiting MADD's Tie One on For Safety Campaign web site and promote their holiday tips and displaying a red ribbon on your vehicle.

Safe Kids Nebraska
Burn Safety 

Thanksgiving and the holiday season is just around the corner. For many, the start of the holiday season is met with the expectation of a feast or at the very least, a home cooked meal. Someone will have to do the cooking and that someone might have children running around.

In 2013 more than 126,035 children across the United States were injured due to a fire or burn, and treated in emergency rooms. Here are a few tips for keeping your little ones burn free:

  • Teach your children to stay a safe distance from hot stoves and appliances.  
  • Don't carry or hold a child while cooking on the stove. Move a highchair into the kitchen or range of sight.
  • Kids love to reach so use the back burner of your stove. Turn pot handles away from the edge.
For more tips and information visit

Safe Kids Worldwide conducted an observational study of 39,000 teens in school zones and found that distraction is on the rise. In addition, 80 percent of the teens served crossing the street were doing so in an unsafe manner.

The new research, Alarming Dangers in School Zones, made possible by support from FedEx, reveals that school zones can be unsafe for students.

Safe Kids World Wide also noted issues with drivers dropping off or picking up students, with 1 in 3 drivers doing something unsafe, like driving while on the phone, double parking or not following the rules of the road.

And many school zones need upgrades. They found crosswalks missing in 3 out of 10 crossings, and appropriate speed limits (no more than 20 mph) in only 4 out of 10 school zones.

This comes at a time when teen pedestrian deaths are on the rise. Today, five teens die every week from being hit by a car.

Safe Kids World Wide created a new infographic that presents the major findings from the research report.

Motor Vehicle Safety
Older Teen Driver Behavior Spotlighted, As Teen Crash Deaths Spike

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that while much progress has been made in reducing teen driver-involved traffic crashes and deaths over the past decade, teen drivers are still 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than their adult counterparts, and teen-involved crash deaths spiked 10 percent in 2015.

The report calls on State Highway Safety Offices and teen driving advocates to carefully monitor what is happening with teen-involved motor vehicle fatalities while expanding their focus to address the heightened crash risk for older teens. The 2015 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showing the jump in teen-involved crash deaths is troubling, but this is the first uptick since 2006 and the report recommends actions that could be taken to avoid a full reversal of the downward trend seen over the past 10 years.

Read the full article here .
Motorcycle Helmet Effectiveness
In a study in Injury Epidemiology, reported the effective of motorcycle helmet use versus non motorcycle helmet use.
Findings include:
  • Among those operators covered by an age-related provision in their state’s partial law (N = 1660), helmet use was 44 %. In comparison, operators under age 21 in universal law states (N = 4166) showed a helmet use rate of 81 %.  
  • Emergency department and hospital charges were higher in partial law states compared to universal law states. Public/government or self/uninsured payers were responsible for payment more often among motorcyclists in partial law states compared to universal law states.  
  • There were significantly less head and neck injuries, including traumatic brain injury, in universal law states compared to partial law states (p-values all <0.01).  
  • Reviews of economic studies concluded that universal helmet laws were associated with estimated benefit of between $1.8 million and $27.2 million per 100,000 registered motorcycles per year, and that public programs paid for much of the associated medical costs
Older Adult Falls

Falls, a Growing Threat for Older Americans

Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among older people in the United States, and this health threat is likely to grow since 10,000 Americans now reach age 65 every day, a new federal report shows.

Every second of every day, an older American falls. As falls increase, so do health care costs. In the report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged doctors to help prevent falls among this high-risk group.

"Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. "Health care providers can make fall prevention a routine part of care in their practice, and older adults can take steps to protect themselves."

Older Americans had 29 million falls in 2014, causing 7 million injuries. Falls cost Medicare an estimated $31 billion a year, the CDC report revealed.

Fall risk increases as aging people's muscles weaken, they become less active and they develop chronic health issues, researchers have found.

The full article can be found here

    Pharmacists on the Front Lines of Older Adult Fall Prevention

 The older adult population in the U.S. is increasing rapidly. In the next 15 years, there will be 74 million older adults. Unfortunately the fall rate is also increasing. By 2030, we will see nearly 49 million falls and 12 million fall injuries. In response to this growing threat to older adults’ safety, health and independence, CDC developed the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries, or STEADI initiative. STEADI helps clinicians, including pharmacists, incorporate fall prevention into their regular practice. In recognition of American Pharmacists Month, CDC celebrates the important contributions pharmacists have in reducing older adults falls

Learn more about STEADI here, and read the SAFE medication review here

Brain Injury Found In Residents in Nebraska Domestic Violence Shelters

The Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska, along with University of Nebraska’s Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior, provided training for staff at five domestic violence shelters in Nebraska on aspects of brain injury and on how to conduct the HELP Brain Injury Screening Tool. Altogether, 67 domestic violence shelter staff from five shelters received training about brain injury.  

This project was possible by a grant from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, Health Promotion Unit; and the work of the BIA-NE with the UNL’s Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior.

Read the full article and see screening results here

Concussion Recognition & Management website wins award
The Concussion Recognition & Management website, has won the Gold Award (1st Place) in the Medical: Professional Audience category for the Regional CINDY Competitions (Cinema in Industry). It will be posted under the 2016 CINDY Winners List in late January on

The website was produced by NET Learning Services, Interactive and Educational Media for the Nebraska Concussion Coalition and is on the DHHS server.

“CINDY has developed into the premier international audio-visual competition for both linear and interactive media for nearly 60+ years. Each year, CINDY draws thousands of entries from dozens of countries around the globe. A host of media formats are represented in the competition, including online interactive multimedia, video, audio, mobile apps and more.

“The annual Regional events are open only to individuals and organizations located within the specific region. There are 12 regions worldwide and Nebraska is in Region 7: North Central United States.

Prescription Drug Overdose
Pharmacists on the Front Lines of Prescription Opioid Overdose Prevention

In March 2016, CDC published the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The Guideline includes recommendations to improve patient safety and care for people with chronic pain. CDC developed user-friendly resources to make the guideline easy for providers and patients to understand and use. The newest one is a brochure specifically for pharmacists. It outlines some aspects of the pharmacist’s role, important information that pharmacists can share with their patients, and some tips on how to engage in meaningful discussions with patients.  

See the brochure here, and find other guideline resources on the CDC website.

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%.

Help Prevent Motor Vehicle Crashes this Holiday Season

Statistical data provided from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety shows in the year 2015 there were 32,818 total motor vehicle crashes with 10,497 of those crashes resulting in injuries.  The months of November and December are peak travel months, as many families will excited to travel to spend time with friends and family.  Motorists need to prepare for travel, to protect themselves and their passenger’s from potential tragedy, as a motor vehicle accidents claimed 245 lives in Nebraska in 2015 (NOHS, 2016).  Before you take off for holiday travel consider the following:  

  • Is your vehicle tuned up and ready for travel – prepare for winter conditions in case you are stranded.
  • Are you physically ready to make the trip – if you are tired, stop take a break, or delay travel to prevent fatigue related accidents.
  • Restrain yourself and your passenger’s properly.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get from one destination to the other, avoid speeding, and aggressive driving.
  • Pay attention to changes in the weather, and review travel plans anticipating changes in road conditions.
  • Do not drive if you having been drinking – choose a designated driver who will remain alcohol free.
  • Do not text or talk on the phone while driving – since driving needs your full attention, designate a passenger to provide communications for you while you travel.
  • Be flexible with your travel plans, and do not set un-realistic expectations of yourself.

  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.