Nebraska Injury Prevention and Control News
    Issue #71                                                    June 2017
Injury Prevention in the News


By most measures, Nebraska's Graduated Driving Licensing (GDL) program, which governs motor vehicle use for teenage drivers, has been a success. Since the law went into effect in 1998, teen driving fatalities in the state have decreased 60 percent. And in 2016, only 20 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes-the lowest number in years. 

But at 13.3 deaths per 100,000 teenagers, the rate of teen fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes in Nebraska is still nearly twice the national average of 7.2 per 100,000. 

With research showing that implementation of GDL restrictions does lower fatalities, Jeanne Bietz, Nebraska's motor vehicle safety coordinator, believes that the key to saving more lives is to better educate the people with the greatest responsibility for monitoring and enforcing these restrictions-parents. 

"When parents in Nebraska want information about teen driver licensing, they often go to the state's drivers' manual and the department of motor vehicles," says Bietz. "But these sources focus on the process for licensure, not driving rules and regulations for teens. So a lot of parents just don't know that teens face driving restrictions. We have a lot of work to do."

For the past 18 months, Bietz and a team from Nebraska have been working with the Child Safety Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network (CS CoIIN), a program of the Children's Safety Network (CSN) at EDC, to identify ways to better inform Nebraska parents about GDL. 

Read the full article from Education Development Center

  NHTSA Release of 2016 Observed Seat Belt Use Rates in All States  
The NHTSA has relased the 2016 Seat Belt Use Rates for states. Nebraska's 2016 use rate is 83.3%. States with primary enforcement laws overwhelming have higher usage rates such as Georgia at 97.2% View chart for comparisons.   2016 SBU Rates by State
Upcoming Events
 Concussion Assessment and Management Symposium
  Symposium Description
July 17, 2017  |  8 am - 5:30 pm

Concussion assessment and management is an evolving science and can provide unique challenges to healthcare providers.  Having a strong understanding of evidence-based (EB) assessment and treatment options is vital for practitioners in the field, which can be challenging in this quickly evolving environment.  This symposium will provide an overview of the current concussion research in a variety of clinical disciplines, and will emphasize the utility of interdisciplinary care in EB concussion care.  This symposium will also emphasize practical application, and will provide multiple case presentations to demonstrate the efficacy of the various EB assessment and treatment modalities covered.  

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.    

Omaha, September 6-9, 2017

Now open for online registration.

Lincoln, September 20-23, 2017

Now open for online registration.

Safe Kids Nebraska

Water Safety

It's that time of year again. The weather gets warmer so families head to the pools and beaches. Water activities are a great way to enjoy your summer so follow the tips below to do it safely. Supervision is key to keeping kids safe around the water. When you are at the pool or beach with the kids designate an adult to be a water watcher. 

Water Watcher Card  Swimming Safety  Boating Safety  Home Water Safety

Heat Stroke Awareness

Heatstroke kills children left in vehicles and it does not have to be hot outside. NHTSA has a fact sheet on tips about heatstroke in vehicles and how to prevent it.
    Let the Summer Fun begin
Even though summer doesn't officially begin until June 21st, the weather is already warmer, pools are open and many families take to the outdoors. Whether your headed to the water, firing up the grill or packing the car for a weekend away, check out these safety tips from Safe Kids Worldwide so you can keep the fun going and reduce your chances of an unexpected trip the ER. .

You can find even more safety tips on the  Safe Kids Worldwide website.
Motor Vehicle Safety
Drive Smart Nebraska Coalition

The Drive Smart Nebraska Coalition is dedicated to eliminating injuries and deaths on Nebraska roads. Through a coalition of public and private partners we promote and carry out road safety policies and activities.

The coalition is currently working on specific issues of media outreach, local and state policy, teen driver safety and community engagement.

If you are wanting to get involved in traffic safety in Nebraska, become a member of the Driver Smart Nebraska coalition. Contact Jeanne Bietz at or 402-471-0361.


Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety
Older Adult Falls

Keeping Mom Safe
Post-Hospital Visit

Up to two-thirds elders are readmitted to hospitals shortly after discharge. Falling is a leading cause of hospital readmissions. Up to 40% of elders fall in the six months after discharge. More troubling, falls after discharge are also more likely to result in physical injury. There is an increased risk of hip fracture in the post-discharge period.
Who's at Risk

Individuals at risk for falls post-hospital include those who:
•    Have a history of falling either in the hospital or prior to admission
•    Require assistance with everyday activities
•    Use a walking aid
•    Have multiple medical problems
•    Are depressed  
•    Live alone
•    Lack family and social support.

When and Where Falls Happen

•    Nearly 75% of falls occur indoors.
•    Most fall occur in the bedroom and/or bathroom (especially while toileting).
•    Many falls occur in the morning hours.

Any hospital discharge plan needs to be individualized based on the elder’s health, functional and social status. Having said that, there are several general recommendations to help family caregivers smooth the transition between hospital and home.

Provide individuals with assistance with their everyday activities, especially during the first few days after hospital discharge. In most cases, individuals have been 100% dependent on hospital staff.  Whether it was a fall that has left them with reduced mobility or just recuperating from surgery, assistance with activities is essential for preventing the risk of falling.

Lastly, schedule a post-hospital doctor’s visit within two weeks of discharge to ensure that your loved one’s recovery is going as expected.

For more information on fall prevention post-hospital visit, read the full article here

CDC Traumatic Brain Injury Resources

CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. Everyone is at risk for a TBI, especially children and older adults.

CDC's research and programs work to prevent TBIs and help people recognize, respond, and recover if a TBI occurs.

Prescription Drug Overdose
Most Adolescents Who Abuse Opioid Drugs Were First Medically Prescribed the Drugs, Study Finds

The U.S. consumes the majority of the world's prescription opioid supply, and studies show this is a growing trend. One consequence is an increase in the non-medical use of opioids, and related emergency department visits and overdose deaths.

A study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found a strong correlation between medical and non-medical opioid use among adolescents, particularly boys. For those who had abused the drugs, they were generally prescribed opioids by a doctor first.

 Researchers concluded that due to this correlation between prescription and non-prescription opioid use in adolescents, health professionals who prescribe opioids to adolescents should be concerned, but that more research is needed to examine the associations between medical use of prescription opioids, non-medical use, and opioid use disorders over the lifespan.

To read the full article click here.


Raising Awareness Regarding Summertime Activities Prevents Injuries

Soon summer will be in full swing and many outdoor enthusiasts will be spending more time enjoying outdoor recreational activities.  Often times with these outdoor activities accidents and injuries occur. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 531,340 emergency room (ER) visits are due to bicycle injuries each year (, 2014). All-terrain vehicles (ATV) causing injuries leads 97,200 patients to the ER with injuries, and fireworks bring an estimated 10,500 injuries to ER’s each year (, 2014).  Many of these injuries could have been prevented by simply adhering to rules of safety.  
  Encouraging and reminding people of safe practices is a priority of any Injury Prevention Program.  Knowing where your resources are to assist you in preparing information to provide to your community is essential.    Activities such as water sports, bicycling, swimming, skateboarding and fireworks are popular summertime injury prevention discussions.  A few injury prevention resources are available here: For more information, please contact Crystal Dailey RN, NE DHHS Trauma Nurse Specialist @ or 402-722-4300.  

 Safety Observances

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.