Nebraska Injury Prevention and Control News
   Issue #73                               September 2017
In the News
How Can We Make a Difference in the Opioid Crisis?
There are concrete steps we can take to address opioid use in the United States. Three EDC experts weigh in. Read the full article here
  The Medical Minute: Falls a common – and preventable – cause of childhood injury
 Some falls are just part of childhood. Learning to walk and nursing scraped knees are milestones that few kids escape. But more serious tumbles – from beds, stairs, playground equipment and windows – are often the most easily prevented. Read tips from Penn State Health News here.  
New National Center for Injury Prevention and Control on Adapting Evidence-based Approaches
New guide features using essential elements to select, adapt, and evaluate violence prevention approaches. Review the full guide here.  
Safe Kids Nebraska
  Simple Steps to Medicine Storage: New Video from Safe Kids
Nearly 9 in 10 parents agree that it’s important to store medicine up high and out of reach of children after every use, but nearly 7 in 10 report that they aren’t actually doing so. Watch our new video, made with the support of Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. to see what it means to put medicine out of reach and sight and for more tips to protect kids at home. Watch the video here
Child Passenger Safety Week
Every day in America, too many children ride in car seats that have been installed incorrectly, or are riding in the wrong car seats for their ages and sizes. Even worse, many other children ride while completely unbuckled. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), two out of three car seats are misused. To help combat this issue, NHTSA is sponsoring Child Passenger Safety Week from September 17-23, 2017, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible - every trip, every time.
National Seat Check Saturday
National Seat Check Saturday is part of Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from September 17-23, 2017. The week is dedicated to teaching parents and caregivers about the importance of correctly choosing, installing, and using car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. Parents and caregivers will also be reminded of the importance of registering car seats with the manufacturer so they can be notified in the event of a recall.

NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, the child should ride in a booster seat until he/she is the right size to use a seat belt safely.

For more information on child car seat safety, as well as how to find other car seat check events, go to
Click here, for a full list of upcoming Safe Kids Nebraska and Partner Events/Programs statewide.
Motor Vehicle Safety
National Teen Driver Safety Week
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human services is joining with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 15-21) to encourage all parents to talk to their teen drivers about the rules of the road. Parents can play an important role in helping ensure their teen drivers take smart steps to stay safe on the road. NHTSA gives parents tips on how to talk about safe driving behaviors with their teens and to address the most dangerous and deadly driving behaviors for teen drivers: alcohol, lack of seat belt use, distracted and drowsy driving, speeding, and driving with passengers.

For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week and safe driving tips for your teens, please visit
New Resource Guide on Teen Driving
Teenagers contribute to, and suffer from, the consequences of motor vehicle collisions at a disproportionate rate. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for youth ages 15-20. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, 1,886 15- to 20-year old drivers were killed and an additional 195,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes. Drivers ages 15-20 account for 5.4% of all licensed drivers in the U.S. but are involved in 9% of all fatal crashes. 
Teen driver crashes often involve: driver error, lack of safety belt use, excessive speed, reckless driving, single vehicle crashes, nighttime fatal crashes, increased risk with every additional passenger, distractions, and alcohol and drugs.
This resource guide provides links to organizations, programs, publications, and resources focused on teen driving safety. It is divided into 14 sections:

  • organizations
  • campaigns
  • programs, and toolkits
  • data
  • general publications
  • Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)
  • driver education and training
  • parent supervision
  • distracted driving
  • passenger distraction
  • technology distraction
  • impaired driving
  • drowsy driving
  • drunk driving
  • drugged driving

 Read the resource guide
 Older Adult Falls 
Nebraskans have the Power to Prevent a Fall
 September 22 nd , the first day of fall, marks the 10 th anniversary of national Falls Prevention Awareness Day. This notable milestone date, was recently proclaimed by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, as “Fall Prevention Awareness Day”.
Nebraska is proud to support fall prevention efforts as part of our year-round commitment to the health and livelihood of older Nebraskans. A balance of education, intervention and community support is key to older Nebraskans staying active, independent and safe in their homes and communities.

Across Nebraska, fall prevention partners host classes, offer presentations, perform falls risk screenings, and educate older adults about evidence-based falls programs. These falls prevention programs help older adults learn how to address their fear of falling and what they can do to improve or sustain their strength and balance. The following video highlights four falls prevention programs: Tai chi, Stepping On, A Matter of Balance, and the Otago Exercise Program.

Two of the programs, Tai chi and Stepping On, continue to grow and benefit older Nebraskans.

Watch this 90-second video to educate older adults and caregivers about simple steps they can take to prevent a fall.

Challenge older adults to Move More with Go4Life and try a different type of exercise each week of September!
For information about Nebraska Falls Prevention, contact: Greta Glenn, Nebraska Older Adult Falls Coalition,

To find out more about Falls Prevention Awareness Day and the national Falls Free® Initiative, visit:
Concussions, Kids And Contact Sports
Football has a giant legacy in this country. Right now, young players are grabbing cleats and pads again to head onto the practice field. Marching bands, sweat, glory. Friday night lights. But people are also thinking twice. The brain trauma from concussions that has plagued the NFL can start early. My guest today Bennet Omalu, whose life was dramatized in the movie “Concussion” with Will Smith, says letting kids play football is child abuse. This hour On Point: Should you let your child play football? — Tom Ashbrook

Click here to listen to a NPR interview with Dr. Bennet Omalu ,  the doctor who cast chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) into the spotlight in 2002 , and who is portrayed by Will Smith in the 2015 film, “Concussion.” Author of, “Truth Doesn’t Have a Side: My Alarming Discovery about the Danger of Contact Sports.”
Prescription Drug Overdose
Opioid Prescribing: Where you live matters
The amount of opioids prescribed in the United States peaked in 2010 and then decreased each year through 2015. Despite the overall decrease, the amount of opioids remains at high levels and varies from county to county in the U.S., according to the latest  Vital Signs report. The amount of opioids prescribed in the U.S. is still too high, with too many opioid prescriptions for too many days at too high a dosage.

Click here for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's full article. 

14 Ways to Help Prevent Falls:
  • Make your home safer by removing clutter, getting rid of throw rugs, or using double sided tape to hold the rugs securely in place.
  • Increase lighting by installing night lights.
  • Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Review your medications with your physician/health care provider. Some medications or certain combinations of medicines (even over the counter) can interact adversely and make you drowsy or lightheaded.
  • Have your vision and hearing checked annually.
  • Wear shoes that provide good support and have thin, non-slip soles (no slippers or bare feet).
  • Get enough sleep. If you are sleepy, you are more likely to fall.
  • Stand up slowly. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop.
  • Use a walking stick if you need help feeling steady when you walk.
  • Don’t stand on a chair or table to reach something that is too high. Instead, use a “reach stick” or ask for help. Same with stepping stools or ladders.
  • Talk to your loved one’s health care provider about performing an assessment on their risk of falling. Tell them about any falls in the past year and any unsteadiness when standing or walking. Also inform them about any worries about falling and any changes in diet or medications. Review their medications and ask about any over the counter medications.
  • Alcohol can be a problem in the elderly. They become more sensitive to alcohol as they get older. Health problems that can be made worse by alcohol include stroke, high blood pressure, memory loss and mood disorders.
  • Complete a home safety check. Make sure their furniture (especially coffee tables) and other objects are not in their way when they walk so they have a clear path.

Fall prevention resources may be obtained from Nebraska Older Adult Falls Coalition or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fall prevention programs such as STEPPING ON, TAI CHI and STEADI are popular fall prevention programs available. For more information please contact Crystal Dailey RN, DHHS Trauma Nurse Specialist at 402-722-4300 or
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults 65 and older.
Studies have shown that the incidence of falls increases after age 50 and gradually rises with age. Nationally one in three adults aged 65 or older falls each year. Annually, Emergency Department’s treat about 2.5 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults. More than 30% of these have to be hospitalized due to their injuries.
According to trauma registry data from the State of Nebraska, older adults aged 85 and over had the highest fall rates. Males were more likely to die from a fall related injury. However, females were more likely to visit a hospital than males after a fall. Most of the injuries sustained were fractures, specifically hip fractures. One of the most serious injuries related to falls can be traumatic brain injuries.

Falling does not have to be a “normal” part of aging. If you take care of your overall health, you may be able to lower your chances of falling. Most of the time falls and accidents don’t “just happen.” About half of all falls occur at home. Falls are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook but easy to fix. Surveying the home for hazards is very important. Certain medications vision and hearing issues can also increase the risk for falling.

  Safety Observances

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, August 16 – September 4, 2017

World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2017

National Suicide Prevention Week, September 10-16, 2017

Child Passenger Safety Week, September 17-23, 2017

Falls Prevention Awareness Day , September 22, 2017

National Seat Check Saturday, September 23, 2017

Teen Driver Safety Week, October 15-21, 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 Safety 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.