Nebraska Injury Prevention and Control News
    Issue #69                                                    April 2017
Injury Prevention in the News

Teens in the Driver Seat® (TDS) recognized seven Nebraska high schools on March 28, 2017, for their dedication to improving teen driver safety with the TDS Cup and Outstanding School Award).

  • 1st Place — Centura High School in Cairo ($1,000 cash award)
  • 2nd Place — Malcolm High School in Malcolm ($500 cash award)
  • 3rd Place — Fullerton High School in Fullerton ($250 cash award)
  • Outstanding schools- Norfolk High School, Gering High School, Central Valley Public Schools and David City High School.

Teens in the Driver Seat believes that young drivers are more effective at communicating to their peers than anyone else. The TDS Cup competition motivates teens to compete with one another to help get the word out about positive driving behaviors.

Awarded annually, the TDS Cup is the ultimate reward for individual TDS schools to prove that their teens have the best program in their respective states. Each TDS team entering the competition is awarded points for every safe-driving activity promoted in its school and community promoting the top five driving risks: driving at night; speeding and street racing; distractions, such as cell phones and teen passengers; not wearing a seat belt; and alcohol/drug use. A final tally ranks winners each spring. There are three placements within each state competition and division, with first-place cup winners earning $1,000 for their school, second place earning $500 and third place earning $250. Schools that reach a minimum required number of activity points are recognized as an Outstanding TDS School.

There are twenty-eight schools across Nebraska working on reducing teen related crashes, injuries and deaths through the use of the Teens in the Driver Seat program. For more information, contact Jeanne Bietz, state coordinator, at or 402-471-0361.

   Experts Stress Early Recognition and Brain Rest

Early recognition and brain rest are keys to helping children recover from concussions sustained in athletics and preventing long-term harm, medical experts said at a forum in Lincoln on Tuesday night.

Dr. Kody Moffatt of Children's Hospital and Medical Center told about a dozen people at the Concussion Discussion that young people benefit from two to three days' rest from these brain injuries.

The forum hosted by experts from Nebraska Medicine, Children's Hospital and Medical Center and the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska comes as prevention advocates aim to increase education among families with children participating in youth club sports.

All of the panelists expressed the importance of patients self-reporting their symptoms, along with the observations of family members.

To read the full article from the Lincoln Journal Star, click here
Learn More and Spread the Word

CDC has several events, tools and resources to highlight Brain Injury Awareness month and TBI prevention.
  • Coming March 22 - Rocket Blades: A new educational gaming app that’s designed to teach children age 6-8 years old about basic concussion safety. Through a futuristic world of galactic racing adventures, children can learn the benefits of playing it safe and smart. 

  • Coaches and parents:  Are you looking for training and information about youth sports concussion? Check out the new CDC HEADS UP online training for youth sports coaches. This free online course will help you create a safe environment for young athletes so that they can stay healthy, active, and thrive - both on and off the playing field.

  • Connect with @CDCInjury all month long to get TBI safety tips and information. CDC will use and follow the #NotAloneInBrainInjury hashtag on Twitter.

Upcoming Events
Car Seat Technician Statewide Update
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
2017 Child Passenger Safety Trainings
Are you interested in helping parents and care givers of children with their car seats? If you are, then sign up for one of the child passenger safety technician courses listed below. Space is limited to 20 participants per class. Visit the National CPS certification website to  find out more about what a CPS does.   

Norfolk, April 26-29, 2017

North Platte, May 31-June 2, 2017
Now open for online registration.

Omaha, September 6-9, 2017

Lincoln, September 20-23, 2017

Safe Kids Nebraska

New Resource on Safe Medication Storage from Safe Kids

Safe Kids has released a new report and infographic titled Safe Medicine Storage: A Look at the Disconnect Between Parent Behavior and Knowledge

This report highlights the different between what parents know they should do to prevent unintentional medication poisonings and what they actually do. The survey found that although 9 out of 10 parents know that it is important to store medicine up, away, and out of sight from children, 7 out of 10 parents report that they often store their medicine where children can see and sometimes reach it. 

Baby gear injuries surging, often due to falls

An article from Reuters Health looked into a study that suggested, every eight minutes in the U.S., a child under three has an accident related to baby products like strollers, carriers, cribs and walkers. 

“What’s surprising is how many children are still experiencing nursery product-related injuries serious enough to result in a trip to the emergency department - one every eight minutes,” said senior study author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The most common culprit was baby carriers, which accounted for almost 20 percent of the accidents. Injuries may happen when parents don’t use buckles and safety straps properly, or when infants are placed on a high surface like a table or counter instead of on the floor, doctors say.

To read the full article, click here
Motor Vehicle Safety

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is a major cause for car crashes, injuries and deaths. To address this public health problem, an educational campaign called You Have One Job, Put the Phone Down and Drive will kick-off April 1.

In order to support community action and awareness, a campaign tool kit is available. The toolkit contains Twitter and Facebook posts, posters, radio spots and billboards. The toolkit is available at  Distracted Driving Tooklit and contains instructions for use. You can also join the Drive Smart Nebraska's Twitter and Facebook pages.

Be on the lookout for placed radio, FB and Twitter posts and radio ads throughout the month.

Welcome the New Injury Prevention Staff 
Celeste Reker, CODES (Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System) Data Analyst, grew up in neighboring Iowa (Go Hawks!).  A lifelong fan of all things science Celeste first attended The University of Iowa to study Biology, but after two life-changing international trips related to public health, realized Epidemiology was truly her passion. She quickly changed her major, and ended up receiving her undergraduate degree in Global Health.  Her passion for public health then led her to UNMC to pursue a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology.  Following graduation, Celeste worked for a local public health department for two and a half years as a Disease Surveillance Coordinator and child passenger safety technician before coming to #TeamDHHS.  She is excited to join the team and work to help all of us better understand the causes and outcomes of motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of injury death in Nebraska.
Underage Drinking and Driving
The National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS) shares state specific statistics on teen drinking and driving and seat belt use. National data is also available for comparison. Take a look at the NOYS website for clickable online map and created fact sheets.
Older Adult Falls

New Online Fall Prevention Training for Pharmacists

Falls are a common and serious health threat to adults 65 and older. Every year, more than 1 in 4 older adults fall, but over half of those who fall won't tell their healthcare provider.

In response to this growing health threat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative to provide sought after tools and resources to help the healthcare team implement fall prevention strategies. Recently CDC collaborated with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in developing a new online application-based training activity, STEADI: The Pharmacist's Role in Older Adult Fall Prevention, The online training is free and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Six New Nebraska Tai Chi Instructors Certified

Six new Nebraska Tai chi Instructors were recently certified to teach the 8-form Tai chi: Moving for Better Balance Program. Several of the instructors are currently teaching twelve-week Tai chi classes offered by Aging Partners.  Contact: Peggy Apthorpe for new Lancaster County Tai chi class information. The next Tai chi Instructor training will be held in Hastings, NE at Central Community College, on April 10-11. Contact: Greta Glenn for program or registration details.

    Avoiding Falls
by Keeping Your Brain Fit

As a person gets older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain.  Aside from memory problems, changes in brain activity influences one’s chances of falling.The ability to keep balance and avoid falling depends not only on leg strength, but also on complex and simple reaction times, known as ‘brain speed’. 

It’s not clear whether underlying diseases may be alerting brain activity and placing elders at fall risk. But the good news is that older brains are capable of compensating for any difficulties that certain regions may be having. There are a variety of activities that people can do to keep their brains healthy and help counter normal brain changes:  
  • Get a Check-Up
  • Eat Healthy
  • Stay Active
  • Engage Your Brain
  • Stay Social

Read the full article and find more tips here

Stepping On Leader Training Session

Are you interested in Building Confidence and Reducing Falls in your community? The next Stepping On Leader Training Session will be held at the Lied Senior Center in Seward, NE-April 25-27. Contact: Peggy Apthorpe for program or registration details.

Female soccer players suffer the most concussions in high school sports

According to a study by the American Academy of Orthpeadic Surgeons, found that girls, and especially those who play soccer, may face a higher risk of concussions. Overall, reports of concussion rates have risen which reflects the enactment and enforcement of TBI laws.
                                                         Brain Injury Awareness Month

March was Brain Injury Awareness Month and CDC's Injury Center encourages you to continue spreading the word about ways to prevent a  traumatic brain injury (TBI) to help protect the health of all Americans.

CDC analyzed the latest data and reported results on the leading causes of TBI by age group and sex. The data show that in 2013, there were:
  • 2.5 million emergency department (ED) visits,
  • 282,000 hospitalizations, and
  • 56,000 deaths related to TBI.

The most common causes of TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths were falls, being struck by or against an object, and motor vehicle crashes. In addition, from 2007 to 2013, the number of TBIs due to falls among older adults increased significantly. ED visits more than doubled, hospitalizations went up by half, and deaths rose by a third. This across-the-board increase illustrates the critical need to help older Americans prevent falls and protect their health and their independence.

Prescription Drug Overdose
Opioid exposure involving children younger than 5

Sixty percent of calls to poison control centers are for help on accidental use of prescribed opioid drugs by children under 5 years of age according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. This is likely due to the increase of opioid prescribing in the United States. The study also stated that 80% of opioid prescriptions written worldwide are in the United States.

CDC Works To  Protect Workers' Health: Prevent Opioid Overdoses

The CDC Foundation landed an online resource, “Opioid Overdose Epidemic” intended to help employers reduce the negative impact of opioids on their workforce.  This interactive infographic address lost workforce productivity due to opioid, the increased cost of opioid abuse and overdose as a result of healthcare and substance abuse treatment, and other challenges businesses face and how they can develop policies and programs to protect their employees.  

Consider Injury Prevention During Prom & Graduation Season
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the months from April thru July see some of the highest teenage traffic fatalities of the entire year. These months coincide with yearly celebrations such as prom and graduation.   In 2015 a total of 48 fatalities were reported in drivers who were aged 16 – 20 years in Nebraska (NDR, 2017). Additional reports show that during the months of April, May and June of 2015 a total of 50 traffic fatalities were reported in Nebraska, and 2 of those incidents resulted in fatalities of teenagers aged 15 -19 years of age (NDR, 2017). Studies have shown that heightened awareness and focused injury prevention campaigns on underage drinking, seat belt use, and texting while driving particularly at prom and graduation time is critical to help reduce the number of traffic fatalities.
Prom and graduation should be events of celebration and remembrance, not memorial of fatality and tragedy.  Consider initiating injury prevention activities in your community by collaborating with local florists, schools, and dress/tuxedo shops to remind teens and parents through simple awareness campaigns to celebrate safe.  Ideas include messages in corsage boxes, or in gift bags, as well as on hangers for tuxedos and dresses. For more information contact: Crystal Dailey RN, Trauma Nurse Specialist @ or 402-722-4300.

 Safety Observances

April 2017

Bicycle Safety Month
May 2017

May 8, 2017

May 15-June 4

May 22-June 4

National Ride to Work Day
June 19

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

Celeste Reker, MPH                                                 Crash Outcome Data Evaluation Data Analyst

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.