Nebraska Injury Prevention and Control News
    Issue #62                                                    September 2016
Injury Prevention in the News
Traffic Fatalities Surge in First Half of 2016
According the National Safety Council, traffic deaths are up 9 percent from last year at this time.  "Our complacency is killing us," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, the safety council's president and CEO. "Americans should demand change to prioritize safety actions and protect ourselves from one of the leading causes of preventable death." More details can be found on the Associated Press website.
Upcoming Events
National Child Passenger Safety Week

September 18-24 marks Child Passenger Safety Week. The week's conclusion, September 24, is National Seat Check Saturday. This week is used to educate and encourage parents to be proactive when it comes to their child's safety in the car. Safe Kids' Gary on The Street went out and quizzed people about booster seats in this video. The majority of participants didn't realize kids should be 4'9" before they are ready to graduate from a booster seat to a seatbelt.

Safe Kids Coalitions across the state will be having seat check events during CPS week. Check the Safe Kids Nebraska calendar to find a seat check event in your area. Promote CPS Week by using free media materials from Traffic Safety Marketing

Safe Kids Nebraska
Trampoline Park Injuries

With the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation against recreational trampoline use, indoor trampoline parks may seem like a safer option for children. However there may still be reason for concern, in light of the recent study on the frequency and patterns of injuries sustained at indoor trampoline parks, published in this month’s edition of Pediatrics. Full article available here

Coming soon from Safe Kids World Wide: The Ultimate Car Seat Guide

The Ultimate Car Seat Guide gives parents and caregivers practical tips to keep kids safe in cars.   The Guide is a web app, meaning you simply visit a website to access it; no need to download anything. It is always available even if they change or lose a phone.

The tool is not intended to take the place of a Child Passenger Safety Technician, reading labels or following manufacturer instructions. But there are many people who just can’t get to a car seat event or inspection station. This website is designed so we can raise awareness and reach as many people as possible with helpful information to keep kids safe in cars.

There are two ways to get safety tip information from the web app experience: personalized tips and basic tips. Personalized tips are based on a specific child’s age and weight Then there is a general section that provides basic information and can be used by people buying a car seat as a gift for a pregnant co-worker or for a childcare provider to keep in the garage until needed.  Each way shows tips for buying, installing, fitting and when to change to the next type of seat. The information in the two sections is different, so we encourage families to check both. The information is based on best practice guidelines.

Safe Kids World Wide will launch the app September 19th during Child Passenger Safety Week and it will be available at

Motor Vehicle Safety
Teens in the Driver Seat
The new school year is upon us and we are looking for schools that want to make a difference in their community and save teen driver lives. The Teens in the Driver Seat program is available to Nebraska schools passionate about keeping teens safe at the wheel. 
Teens in the Driver Seat® is a teen peer-to-peer education that focuses solely on the five major risks to teen drivers: alcohol, driving at night/fatigue, speeding/racing, distractions (cell phone use, texting, and passengers) and not wearing a seat belt. Teens, along with a sponsor, help shape the program and are responsible for implementing it.

For more information or to apply, visit the Nebraska Injury Prevention webpage or contact Jeanne Bietz at 402-471-0361 or
2017 Traffic Safety Calendar
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has release its 2017 Communications Calendar. The calendar lists the campaign and duration. Start planning for 2017!
Older Adult Falls
Fall is around the corner. Falls shouldn't be.

Fall is just around the corner, but falls shouldn’t be just around the corner for older adults. The Nebraska Older Adult Falls Coalition will again celebrate Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 22, 2016 – the first day of Fall.  

Falls were the leading cause of injury deaths and hospitalizations for Nebraska adults age 65 and older from 2009-2013, and were the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all age groups.

Studies show that a combination of behavior changes can significantly reduce falls among older adults. Experts recommend:

  • Participating in a physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components.
  • Consulting with a health professional about getting a fall risk assessment.
  • Having medications reviewed periodically.
  • Getting eyes and ears checked annually.
  • Making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.

At senior centers and other community-based organizations across Nebraska, programs like Tai Chi and Stepping On help older adults gain strength, improve balance, and build confidence to help them live healthier lives and preserve their independence.

For more information on fall prevention, please visit the NE DHHS website.

   The Cost of Falls.
The cost of falls has risen dramatically in recent years. An article by CDC authors in the  Journal of Safety Research , titled “The direct costs of fatal and non-fatal falls among older adults – United States” has updated the estimated cost of falls for 2015.

In 2015, the Medicare costs for non-fatal falls were over $31 billion. The average cost of a fatal fall was over $26,000 and the average cost of a non-fatal fall was nearly $10,000

Fall injuries and deaths are expected to continue to rise as more than 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day. Fortunately, preventive measures exist that, when implemented, can reduce the risk of falls. CDC’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries, or STEADI initiative, provides resources for clinicians on how to make fall prevention part of their routine care for older Americans.

The STEADI initiative is based on the American and British Geriatrics Societies’ guidelines on fall risk assessment and follow-up. STEADI includes information on how to screen for fall risk, review and optimize medications that can increase fall risk.

Learn more about STEADI here.
More Children Are Suffering Traumatic Brain Injuries at the Playground, Study Says
Research from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the CDC has found a there is a substantial gap in how the United States estimates pediatric concussions. The study found that four in five children were diagnosed at a primary care practice, not the emergency room. It also found that one third of the diagnosed concussions occurred in children under age 12; this population is missed by existing surveillance systems that focus on high school athletes. 
Currently many counts of concussion injury are based on emergency department visits or organized high school and college athletics data.

The press release is available here.
An infographic can be viewed here.
Infographic: Preventing Concussions in Sports
Ohio University has compiled an infographic to help make sense of concussion prevention in sports. The infographic includes general information about concussion, facts about both adult and child athletes, technology in concussion prevention, tools, and more. It can be viewed online here
Prescription Drug Overdose
Increases in Fentanyl-Involved Overdose Deaths
From 2013 to 2014, law enforcement encounters (drug submitted for analysis) testing positive for fentanyl sharply increased in a growing number of states, according to two new articles published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Key findings from 2013 to 2014
  • Law enforcement fentanyl encounters in the U.S. quadrupled.
  • Synthetic opioid-involved deaths in the U.S. increased by nearly 80%, and these were likely driven by fentanyl-involved overdose deaths.
  • Fentanyl prescription rates remained relatively stable.
  • High-burden states show that all demographic groups had substantial increases in synthetic opioid-involved deaths, and the emerging patterns mirror the evolving demographics of those using heroin.

The current fentanyl crisis continues to expand in size and scope across the United States. The toxicity of fentanyl and possibility of rapid death, coupled with the extremely sharp one-year increase in synthetic opioid-involved overdose deaths including fentanyl, highlight the urgent need to understand the factors driving this increase.

To learn more, visit the CDC website.

 Nebraska is working hard to prevent prescription drug overdoses by implementing evidence based methods proven to be effective.  The Nebraska PDMP enhancement efforts are underway and will be gaining momentum as we approach the January 1, 2017 date of using the enhanced PDMP system.  A new logo has been developed to demonstrate the collaborative efforts of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII).  Other efforts include working to develop statewide pain management guidelines when prescribing opioids for chronic pain.   For more information about the prescription drug prevention efforts, feel free to contact Amy Reynoldson at or 402-471-0835.  

Opioids Linked with Deaths other than Overdoses
A new study suggests opioids may also contribute to heart-related deaths and other fatalities. The study followed patients given prescription medicine for chronic pain. The study compared patients on other types of painkillers with those on long-acting opioids. Among more than 45,000 patients, those on opioids had a 64% higher risk of dying within 6 months of starting treatment compared to patients using types of other painkillers.

The article can be found here.

Unique Injury Prevention event draws nearly 700 participants.

Preventing injuries that affect young children and families can occasionally prove to be difficult, given families busy summer schedules.  This summer a Western Nebraska hospital decided to promote injury prevention in a place where kids could not only learn about injury prevention but also have fun.  

The “Safety Safari” now in its second year, was held at a local zoo, which has numerous places to play and nice walking paths throughout.  This type of arrangement allows injury prevention venues to set up different booths, with activities, and information about specific topics, along the paths.  A map is provided to guide participants to each booth, and if each booth is visited or checked off the map, a prize is awarded for attending all the booths. 

Entertainment, food, physical activities and demonstrations are also available.  Many community partners sponsor the booths including local law enforcement, game and parks, health departments, and local healthcare agencies, to name a few.  Topics covered included:  swallowing/choking, small animal safety, large animal safety, camping/fire pit safety, how to remove a fish hook, seat belt safety, car seat safety, gun safety, swim safety, electrical safety, bicycle safety, tips on behavioral health, sun safety, West Nile virus and immunizations. 

In coordination with the zoo, the event is open to the public for free admission for 4 hours.  This allows participants to not only take part in the injury prevention activities but also to see the animals kept at the zoo.  Organizers report that this unique opportunity has elevated the education and awareness of injuries and how to prevent them in their community.  For more information or to contact the organizers, contact Crystal Dailey RN, Trauma Nurse Specialist @ 402-722-4300 or

 Safety Observances

September 5-11, 2016

Child Passenger Safety Week

September 17- 23, 2016

September 22, 2016

National Seat Check Saturday

September 23, 2016

October, 2016

October, 2016

October 16-22, 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

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.