Spotlight on the States

Spotlight on the States

Massachusetts
Jul 2015

At the behest of the Office of the Child Advocate and in response to the recommendation of the Child Fatality Review Board, ESE has consulted with the Department of Public Health in preparing important safety information on the use of swimming pools in school buildings. While swimming pools in schools may be operated by schools or by municipal recreation departments, district leaders can benefit from being aware of the DPH regulations and best practices regarding swimming pool safety. The memo is available on their website.

Read the memorandum

Topics:
Drowning Prevention
Washington
Jun 2015

The Washington State Injury & Violence Prevention Program (IVPP) created a video to educate teens and their parents about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The project began when Kathy Williams, IVPP Trauma Prevention Specialist and members of the Washington State Traumatic Brain Injury Strategic Partnership Advisory Council met to discuss a joint project to prevent TBIs. A look at the data revealed that most TBIs to Washington residents under 24 years of age were sustained in motor vehicle crashes and that, each year, more than 260 teens in Washington State are hospitalized as a consequence of TBIs.

The Council and IVPP decided to develop a video to educate teens and their parents about the risk of TBI to novice and young drivers. This video, In An Instant, features compelling first-person accounts by TBI victims about how their lives were forever changed by an injury sustained during a motor vehicle collision. It also includes dramatic reports by law enforcement officers about responding to the scene of motor-vehicle tragedies involving young people. A physician from Harborview Medical Center, Washington State’s Level I trauma center, talks about the medical consequences of TBIs.

In An Instant shows teen drivers how they can reduce the risk of TBIs related to motor vehicle crashes by always wearing seat belts correctly, never driving after using alcohol or drugs, obeying the speed limit, and not driving while texting. The video also encourages parents to help their children comply with Washington State’s intermediate driving license law and to offer to pick up their children anyplace at anytime if that will help avoid a situation that puts teens at-risk of a motor vehicle crash - and a TBI. 120 of the 165 teens participating in an evaluation of the video said that they will always wear a seatbelt. 119 said they would not drive after drinking or using drugs.

A DVD including the video and other materials such as posters and bookmarks were distributed to several hundred private driving schools, and just under 100 high school driver education programs. The Department of Licensing recently instituted a rule that parents of teens in driving schools must attend an hour-long session to learn about the risks faced by young drivers and how to better mentor their children during the intermediate license period. Driving schools often show In An Instant during these “parents’ nights.” The IVPP has also used the video to educate professionals, including Children with Special Health Needs staff, the Young Driver Task Force, and regional EMS Quality Improvement Groups.

In An Instant can be viewed online at the TBI Council website (http://www.tbiwashington.org/). For more information, contact Kathy Williams, Trauma Prevention Specialist, Injury & Violence Prevention Program, Washington State Department of Health at kathy.williams@doh.wa.gov or 360-236-2862.

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

 In 2007, as part of the Massachusetts graduated driver-licensing program designed to allow junior operators (ages 16½–17 years) to gain experience before receiving full licensure, stringent penalties were introduced for violating a law prohibiting unsupervised driving at night; driver education, including drowsy driving education, became mandatory; and other new restrictions and penalties began. The researchers evaluated the impact of these changes on police-reported vehicle crash records for one year before and five years after the law’s implementation in drivers ages 16–17, inclusive, and two comparison groups. They found that crash rates for the youngest drivers fell 18.6 percent, from 16.24 to 13.22 per 100 licensed drivers. For drivers ages 18–19 the rates fell by 6.7 percent (from 9.59 to 8.95 per 100 drivers), and for those ages 20 and older, the rate remained relatively constant. The incidence rate ratio for drivers ages 16–17 relative to those ages 20 and older decreased 19.1 percent for all crashes, 39.8 percent for crashes causing a fatal or incapacitating injury, and 28.8 percent for night crashes. Other states should consider implementing strict penalties for violating graduated driver-licensing laws, including restrictions on unsupervised night driving, to reduce the risk of sleep-related crashes in young people.

Purchase the study

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Iowa
Jun 2015

From CDC Core VIPP Newsletter:

The University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC) partnered with the Blank Children’s Hospital to create Steering Teens Safe, a parent communication and driving supervision program that helps parents motivate their teens to drive safely.  Evaluations of Steering Teens Safe were conducted through two randomized controlled trials funded by CDC and NIH, and estimate a 21% reduction in teen risky driving.  The IPRC is currently translating the program to parents; integrating the program into three business workplace wellness programs; and working with state Driver’s Education programs to make Steering Teens Safe available as a parent component.

Learn more about the Steering Teens Safe parental guide

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Utah
Jun 2015

Utah lawmakers are hoping more teen drivers will fall into a similar routine with a new law that takes effect Tuesday. The rule bars 16- and 17-year-olds from talking on the phone while driving.

Under the new state law, teens who talk on the cellphone while driving could be ticketed and fined $25. The rule is a primary offense. That means officers don't need a second reason to pull a teen over and issue a citation for cellphone use. But the tickets won't add points to teen's driving records.

Click here for the news story from the Daily Herald

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
New Jersey
Jun 2015

Three New Jersey licensing policies are unique in the United States: (a) minimum licensing age of 17; (b) applying full graduated driver licensing (GDL) rules to beginners younger than 21; and (c) requiring license status decals on vehicle plates of drivers in GDL.  New Jersey 17–19 year-olds were surveyed by telephone and online.  Eighty-four percent approved licensing at 17; 77% approved applying GDL to older novices; 23% approved the decal policy. Probationary licensees ages 18–19 were more likely than 17 year-olds to have multiple nighttime restriction violations in the past month. There were no age group differences in passenger restriction violations. All three policies have been considered in other states. Views of teenagers directly affected by the policies can be taken into account in considering their implementation. Views of licensing policies by affected teenagers indicate potential support or obstacles to their adoption in other states.

Click here to purchase the study from the Journal of Safety Research

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Pennsylvania
Jun 2015

At a time when heroin use and prescription drug abuse have reached epidemic levels, local health care providers are stepping up to the plate to help one targeted group: pregnant women.

Magee-Womens Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), along with several local insurers, announced the launch of what it called the “first-of its kind” outpatient recovery center in the country for pregnant women addicted to opiates — heroin and Vicodin, Oxycontin, hydrocodone and other highly addictive painkillers. And West Penn medical officials said a similar program is in the works.

This program breaks new ground in two important ways, said Dennis English, a physician and vice president of Medical Affairs at Magee. First, it uses buprenorphine, a relatively new drug used to treat opioid addiction that has fewer side effects than methadone and is easier on babies, who must be weaned from the drug after birth.

Second, it can be prescribed in weekly outpatient visits, instead of requiring daily visits to the methadone clinic, thus reducing health care costs, not to mention easing the burden on poor women without ready access to transportation.

To read the full news story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, click here.

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Pennsylvania
Jun 2015

Last year when American Paradigm Schools took over Philadelphia's infamous, failing John Paul Jones Middle School, they did something a lot of people would find inconceivable. The school was known as "Jones Jail" for its reputation of violence and disorder, and because the building physically resembled a youth correctional facility. Situated in the Kensington section of the city, it drew students from the heart of a desperately poor hub of injection drug users and street level prostitution where gun violence rates are off the charts. But rather than beef up the already heavy security to ensure safety and restore order, American Paradigm stripped it away. During renovations, they removed the metal detectors and barred windows.

The police predicted chaos. But instead, new numbers seem to show that in a single year, the number of serious incidents fell by 90%.

The school says it wasn't just the humanizing physical makeover of the facility that helped. Memphis Street Academy also credits the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), a noncoercive, nonviolent conflict resolution regimen originally used in prison settings that was later adapted to violent schools. AVP, when tailored to school settings, emphasizes student empowerment, relationship building and anger management over institutional control and surveillance. There are no aggressive security guards in schools using the AVP model; instead they have engagement coaches, who provide support, encouragement, and a sense of safety.

Click here for the news story from The Atlantic

Topics:
Violence
Oregon
Jun 2015

From the CDC Core VIPP Monthly Update

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s newly released national seat belt use rate data, Oregon is the #1 state in the US with a 98.2% seat belt use rate.  Oregon’s seat belt effort is a collaborative effort led by the Oregon Department of Transportation Safety Division in partnership with the Oregon IVPP, EMS, Trauma, and MCH Child Injury/Safe Kids Program. View Oregon’s 3-minute video explaining Oregon belt and child seat laws or visit the Oregon Department of Transportation website.  Way to go Oregon! 

Topics:
Motor Vehicle, Child Passenger Safety
Oregon
Jun 2015

Oregon high school students are invited to submit videos for the 2012 "Save a friend. Work safe." public service announcement contest. Sponsored by several groups, including Oregon OSHA, the contest is designed to raise awareness among young people about safety on the job. To enter, students must submit a 45-second PSA reflecting the theme "Save a friend. Work safe."
Submissions will be judged on:

  • A teen worker health and safety message based on the concept of "Speak Up!"
  • Creativity and originality
  • Overall production value
  • Youth appeal

The deadline to submit videos is Feb. 1. Winners will be announced in the spring. The top three PSAs will be posted on YouTube, and the students will receive prizes ranging from $300 to $500 with a matching amount for their schools.

For more contest information, visit: http://youngemployeesafety.org/video_contest/

Topics:
Young Worker Safety
New York
Jun 2015

Nearly one in five students at New York City public high schools are bullied, according to a report released this month by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

In 2011, 18 percent of NYC public high school students reported that they had been bullied either on school property or online, the study found.

Bullying was not very different between girls and boys: 19 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys reported incidents of bullying.

Younger students were more likely to be bullied than older students. Twenty-one percent of ninth graders were bullied, compared to 18 percent of 10th graders and 16 percent of 11th and 12th graders.

Click here for the news story from the Metro

Click here for the report from NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
Oklahoma
Jun 2015

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center found a home-based intervention program aimed at preventing recurrence of child abuse and neglect is working in Oklahoma.

The statewide trial evaluated the effectiveness of SafeCare. The SafeCare model is designed to directly address home safety, home cleanliness, nutrition, child medical care and parent-child interactions, said OU researcher Mark Chaffin, Ph.D., of the OU Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Chaffin is also a professor of pediatrics with the OU College of Medicine.

To read the full article, visit: http://www.news-star.com/newsnow/x570357276/Home-based-intervention-prevents-abuse

Topics:
Child Maltreatment
Utah
Jun 2015

Enough Is Enough® (EIE) and the Utah Council for Crime Prevention (UCCP) has launched EIE's Telly award winning, multimedia Internet Safety 101® Program in the state of Utah, empowering parents, educators, law enforcement and other caring adults with the tools to protect their children from the dangers of the digital world. The launch was be in connection with the Annual UCCP Power of Prevention Conference held at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City, Utah on Thursday, January 26 and Friday, January 27.

To learn more about the Internet Safety 101 program, visit: http://www.internetsafety101.org/

To learn more about the conference, visit: http://www.internetsafety101.org/calendar.htm?id=59

Topics:
General Multiple Causes
New Jersey
Jun 2015

Each day, 55 children are exposed to potentially poisonous substances and a loved one calls the experts at the NJ Poison Center for help. Last year almost 20,000 children under the age of five (5) required assistance from the NJ Poison Experts because they were exposed to potentially dangerous items such as household chemicals, medicines and vitamins, cigars/cigarettes, liquid nicotine in e-cigarette devices and hookah pipes, coins, magnets, and batteries.

While most of the cases were managed at home without a visit to the hospital, many did require admission to an intensive care unit and some required surgery. Some people think only medicines and chemicals cause life threatening poisoning situations, however, foreign bodies such as coins, magnets, and batteries should never be overlooked because they can cause serious injury and even death.

“We have all been guilty of carelessly leaving potentially harmful items around the house, while they should have been kept in lockable medicine/storage cabinets,” said Steven Marcus, MD, executive and medical director of the NJ Poison Center.

“Overlooking such items, unfortunately, can be very costly to the health and well-being of a family member.” Unintentional poisoning injury and death are preventable. Locking up such items will help prevent an exposure of a young child or pet, as well as, prevent the misuse of medicines.

“I would like to call your attention to the annual observance of National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), this year from March 15-21st. As we approach spring, I ask all New Jerseyans to mark the occasion by “poison proofing” their homes when they spring clean. Go through the house room by room, including sheds and garages, and make sure potentially dangerous items are properly stored.”

Read the full press release from Rutgers

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Virginia
Jun 2015

This report was adapted from a presentation given by Erima Fobbs for the Children's Safety Network (CSN) Bullying Prevention Webinar in February, 2008. Ms. Fobbs is the Director of the Division of Injury and Violence Prevention, a unit of the Office of Family Health Services (the Commonwealth of Virginia's Maternal and Child Health agency).

The issue of bullying kept coming up in our work - in the needs assessment; discussions with staff from other agencies, school personnel, and parents; and in the findings of investigations into incidents of school shootings. It became apparent that bullying had a widespread health impact and was related to depression, suicide, sexual violence, and other issues on which we were already working. We immediately saw the benefits of addressing bullying. Effective bullying prevention programs were available. We had a lot of experience working on school-based programs. We had staff who could easily integrate bullying prevention training into their MCH work. And we had some discretionary financial resources to use for materials and trainings.

We chose to use the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Olweus is a school-based program that is recognized as an evidence-based model program by Blueprints for Violence Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the United States Department of Education. Olweus is also highlighted on the Stop Bullying Now! Website.

We began by using funds from the MCH Block Grant to allow the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for School Community Collaboration to support existing Olweus programs with training and start-up resources (including videos, manuals, and books). We also gave small grants to 18 community-based organizations to undertake bullying prevention projects and activities.

We had received an ESCAPE (Enhancing State Capacity to Address Child and Adolescent Health Through Violence Prevention) Planning Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2004. When the time came to apply for implementation funding for the second year of this project, we realized that our previous involvement in bullying prevention - which was accomplished with a relatively small financial investment - put us in an excellent position to compete for this sizable grant. The timing was right. The relevant partners were represented on the committee overseeing the ESCAPE grant. And there was agreement to focus on bullying prevention.

The primary purpose of the proposed project was to expand the implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Programs in schools across Virginia and to make sure that the program was implemented with fidelity. We were successful and obtained a 3-year $290,000/year grant, beginning in October 2006 to expand the use of the Olweus program in Virginia. Katie Moffett, Director of Project Bully- Free Virginia at the Center for School Community Collaboration, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Rebecca Odor of the Division of Injury and Violence Prevention, coordinate the project on behalf of the Virginia Department of Health and the ESCAPE committee.

The grant allows us to provide schools with training, consultation and materials necessary to implement Olweus over 18 months. During Year 1, 26 schools began implementing the program. We are now in Year 2 - and providing support to 45 schools in 17 school divisions. Olweus is now reaching about 40,000 students in Virginia.

In the last year of this project, we will implement additional Olweus trainer workshops and hold a showcase conference of successful school bullying prevention programs in Virginia. The project is being evaluated. We are collecting data on changes in bullying-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and school and classroom practices.

Public health providers, and MCH agencies in particular, can bring a great deal to bullying prevention. Although this is changing, the education and criminal justice systems have historically seen bullying as an disciplinary or behavior management issue. Public health providers consider the broader individual and societal health impacts of bullying. To us in public health, schools are just one of the venues in which we work to reach young people with the life skills they need to avert serious and costly health problems that will impact all of us both directly or indirectly.

We inform bullying and violence prevention activities with health and mental health data, information, research (on, for example, the relationship of bullying to suicide risk, depression, and chronic disease). This information resonates with providers, who, as individuals, parents, and community members, see themselves as having more of a stake in addressing this problem.

As we do so well with other issues, we in public health can continue to sound that sentinel alarm about the health impact of violent behavior - including bullying - and bring the public and providers together. By disseminating information and providing training and technical assistance, state and local health departments can bring the research and model programs developed by Federal agencies and experts to people in states and communities, extending the reach of these efforts and ensuring they have a real impact.

For more information about bullying prevention in Virginia, contact Erima Fobbs, Office of Family Health Services, at (804) 864-7733 or erima.fobbs@vdh.virginia.gov.

More information on bullying prevention from the Children's Safety Network.

For help in implementing or enhancing bullying prevention programs in your state, contact the Children's Safety Network at csn@edc.org.

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
Virginia
Jun 2015

The Virginia Department of Health's Stop It Now! project uses an existing national helpline to bring a new approach to child sexual abuse prevention as well as access to local resources to Virginia residents.

The Virginia Sexual Violence State Planning Advisory Board developed and oversees the implementation of the Virginia Sexual Violence State Plan. One of the objectives of this plan is to "provide a Statewide Hotline to provide options for callers who suspect someone of being a perpetrator or for callers who are perpetrators." After investigating the options for meeting this objective, the Advisory Board decided to contract for these services with Stop It Now!, a national nonprofit organization that already had a helpline in place.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) - which is overseeing implementation of the helpline - provided Stop It Now! with resources and referrals specific to Virginia so the residents of the Commonwealth will have access to local information, referrals, and resources, in addition to the national information, referrals, and resources that the typical helpline caller receives.

Rebecca K. Odor, Director of Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention for VDH (and a member of the Sexual Violence State Planning Advisory Board) said that another reason for contracting with Stop It Now! is that organization's innovative approach to child sexual abuse prevention. She reports that "For those that are working in child abuse prevention, this approach is a big shift. Until now, the dominant model for child abuse prevention was educating the child to say 'no' and tell an adult. The Stop It Now! model extends the responsibility for child abuse prevention from the child victim to adults who need to take action if they think a child is being abused or in danger of being abused. Stop It Now! is the only organization using this model on the national level."

The Advisory Board understood that the helpline would not be effective unless people knew about it and were motivated to call. So the VDH contracted with a marketing firm to develop a public education campaign, which is currently being pilot-tested in the Richmond area to educate the public on the role of adults in preventing child abuse, as well as the existence of the hotline. This campaign includes posters, flyers, a website, print advertising, and broadcast advertising. Rebecca K. Odor said that VDH chose to buy media time rather than rely on donated time to make sure the spots were aired during times when people would hear them - rather than in the middle of the night, the usual time spot for campaigns using donated airtime. If the evaluation of the pilot campaign shows that it has been successful, the VDH will role out similar public education efforts in other parts of Virginia.

For more information on Virginia's efforts, contact Rebecca K. Odor at becky.odor@vdh.virginia.gov or 804-864-7740.

The Stop It Now! helpline can be reached at 1-888-PREVENT (1-888-773-8368).

The National Stop It Now! website can be found at http://www.stopitnow.org.

Topics:
Child Maltreatment
Alaska
Jun 2015

In 1995, Robert Painter, then Assistant Chief for EMS for Homer, Alaska, attended an injury prevention conference in Anchorage. At this event, he heard about Kids Can’t Fly, a program designed to prevent children from falling from windows. In recent years, Homer, a small coastal town, had experienced several drowning deaths, including that of a four-year old child. During his drive home, Painter, who has since become Homer’s Fire Chief, came up with the idea for Kids Don’t Float (KDF), a drowning prevention program that combines personal floatation device (PFD) loaner stations at boat ramps and harbor entries with water safety education.

The next year, the Homer Fire Department, in collaboration with Homer Safe Kids, applied for and received a grant from the State Community Health and EMS Program which allowed Chief Painter’s idea to become a reality. Ten self-service stations, at which boaters could borrow PFDs on the “honor” system, were built in Homer and other communities along the Kahemak Bay, and a water safety education program was created.

KDF proved so successful that the Alaska Injury Prevention & EMS office and U.S. Coast Guard partnered to take the program statewide. A manual was developed to help community coalitions build and operate their own PFD loaner stations. In 1998, the newly created Alaska Office of Boating Safety joined the effort, providing PFDs to local coalitions, and creating a Kids Don’t Float curriculum for elementary schools as well as a peer education program in which high school students learn to teach younger children about water safety.

Maria Bailey, Program Manager at the Injury Prevention & EMS office, reports that KDF has proven wildly successful, with at least 17 documented “saves.” She also reports that most sites report very little PFD theft or loss.

The KDF manual and School Program materials are being used to replicate the program in communities across the country, often under the auspices of the Coast Guard Auxiliary or Safe Kids. There are currently more than 500 KDF programs in the United States.

For more information on Kids Don’t Float, see the following websites:

For additional information about the KDF PFD Loaner program, contact Maria Bailey at (907) 465- 4170 ormaria.bailey@alaska.gov. For additional information about the KDF School Program, contact Joseph McCullough at (907) 269-8704 or joseph.mccullough@alaska.gov.

Click on images to view in full screen.

Topics:
Drowning Prevention
Washington
Jun 2015

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among young people ages 1-17 in Washington State. Eighty-five percent of these deaths occur in open water, including lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, the Pacific Ocean, and Puget Sound. An assessment of Washington State Child Death Review records determined that 85 percent of these deaths could have been prevented with measures such as using a personal flotation device (PFD) or swimming where a lifeguard was on duty.

With funding from the CDC, the Washington State Department of Health and Seattle Children’s Hospital convened the Washington State Child and Youth Open Water Drowning Prevention Task Force, which included injury prevention and open water safety experts, a parent representative, and staff from parks and recreation departments, sheriff and police marine patrol units, and the United States Coast Guard. The purpose of the Task Force was to identify polices that would prevent open water drowning among children and teens.

The Task Force identified seven priority areas for policy change: 1) Safer Water Recreation Sites, 2) Personal Flotation Devices, 3) Boating Under the Influence and Open Water Enforcement, 4) Surveillance, 5) Swimming Skills and Water Safety Education, 6) Physical Open Water Barriers, and 7) Partnerships. Working with the Washington State Drowning Prevention Network and representatives of local and national injury prevention and water safety organizations, the Task Force identified a five year plan with short- and long-term strategies in each of these areas to prevent open water drowning and to improve open water safety. They also developed measures for success for each strategy.

The recommended strategies covered a broad range of open-water issues. Examples of some of the strategies recommended by the Task Force include the following:

  • mandating that children age 17 years and under wear life jackets on boats and increasing the number of life jacket loaner programs (Personal Flotation Device Priority Area)
  • adding questions on swimming ability and use of designated/lifeguarded swim areas to the Healthy Youth Survey (Surveillance Priority Area)
  • strengthening the state’s boating-under-the- influence law, (Boating Under The Influence and Open Water Enforcement Priority Area)
  • developing safer water recreation site standards for bathing beaches and swim areas (Safer Water Recreation Sites Priority Area).

After issuing its report, the Task Force devolved into smaller groups which are working toward implementation of specific policies recommended by the larger body. The Washington State Drowning Prevention Network, Safe Kids, the Boating Safety Advisory Council, the Washington Boater’s Alliance and other boating and water safety organizations are helping to guide and implement these efforts.

A complete list of short- and long-term strategies and measures of success for each can be found in Washington State Open Water Drowning Prevention: Policy Strategies for Children and Youth: 2011-2016. To download this publication and learn more about Washington State’s efforts to improve open water safety, visit:http://www.seattlechildrens.org/classes-community/community-programs/drowning-prevention/policy/.

For more information, contact Elizabeth ‘Tizzy’ Bennett (elizabeth.bennett@seattlechildrens.org) or Celeste Chung (celeste.chung@seattlechildrens.org at Seattle Children’s Hospital or Kathy Williams, Washington State Department of Health at (kathy.williams@doh.wa.gov).

Topics:
Drowning Prevention
Montana
Jun 2015

Karl Rosston was appointed Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Montana in 2007. One of his first tasks was to convene a working group to update the Montana Strategic Suicide Prevention Plan. While working with the State Office of Vital Statistics, the group noticed that firearms are involved in 66 percent of the suicides in Montana, which is significantly higher than the rest of the country (in which about 50 percent of suicides are firearm-related). Firearms were also used in a far higher proportion of suicides than the second most common mechanism of suicide, poisoning, which is involved in 17 percent of Montana suicides. The difference was even more pronounced for men, who account for 83 percent of the state’s suicides and tend to choose more lethal means than women. The pattern also holds true for adolescent males, who will sometimes use a parent’s firearm.

The working group identified a lack of community awareness about suicide and improperly stored firearms as major problems. Rosston and his collaborators wanted to create a program that would effectively address both issues without raising the specter of gun control, which is culturally unacceptable to a substantial proportion of Montana’s population.

They examined the research and found that programs that distributed gun locks that used keys were often ineffective. People were afraid of losing the keys, so they would often leave the gun unlocked or leave the key in the lock. Rosston found that gun locks that used combinations rather than keys could be bought at a reasonable price. In 2008, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services purchased 1,400 of these locks to distribute to the public at no-cost.

Gun Louck with TagEach gun lock is attached to a “gun safety tag” – a laminated card that includes information on recognizing and responding to the warning signs of suicide as well as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number (1-800-273-TALK). The gun locks and tags were distributed by county health departments as well as Planting Seeds of Hope, a project that works with Native American youth in Montana and Wyoming. Each participating health department or tribal project created its own distribution plan. Gun locks were distributed at firearms shows, community events such as Helena’s Alive @ Five free music series, and during home health care visits. Don Wetzel, Project Director for Planting Seeds of Hope, reported that the gun locks and safety tags were distributed by their tribal training coordinators, sometimes in conjunction with tribal police departments or hunter safety classes.

The distribution program proved very popular. Most of the organizations reported that all their locks were distributed over the course of a week or two. Rosston credits the program’s popularity to the approach exemplified by the slogan that appears on the gun safety tag: “Protect your firearm from theft and misuse.” Rosston reported that “we were careful to make sure that the public understood that it was a gun safety program, not a gun control program. We wanted to make sure that guns were used for what they were supposed to be used for – and not suicide.” He also reported “the program gave people in the county health departments an opportunity to talk to the public about suicide” and that people were as interested in the suicide information as the free gun locks.

The program is being expanded to additional counties and will distribute an additional 2,000 gun locks and safety tags in the latter part of 2009.

For more information, contact Karl F. Rosston at (406) 444-3349 or krosston@mt.gov

 

 

 

 

Click on images to view in full screen.

Topics:
Firearms, Suicide Prevention
Rhode Island
Jun 2015

Rhode Island’s Your Voice, Your View is a program centered on an annual contest in which teens create television public service announcements (PSAs) to educate their peers about sexual violence prevention. Based on a now-defunct project created by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, this program sends staff from Day One, Rhode Island’s Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center, into high schools to lead classroom workshops on sexual violence prevention. The classes are divided into teams of 3-4 students who write and act-out PSAs to educate their peers about sexual violence. Each class must submit at least one PSA to the contest. The PSAs are videotaped by school or Your Voice, Your View staff. Between 800-1200 youth attend the workshops, and 50-60 teams make and submit PSAs, every year. The three teams who submit the best entries receive cash prizes. The winning PSA is shown on broadcast and cable outlets including Fox, BET, and the Cartoon Network. Beatriz Perez of Safe Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Violence and Injury Prevention Program, reported that one of the Health Department’s motivations for funding this program was a desire to include more prevention in the repertoire of services offered by Day One, which has long been funded by the Department to provide assistance to victims of sexual assault and provide education on sexual assault prevention to Rhode Island schools and communities. Hillary Jones of the Health Department, reports that in 2010 Your Voice, Your View focused on sexual harassment, which is a more common problem than assault. She said that “the workshops try to build empathy for those who experience sexual harassment. We talk about the difference between flirting and harassment. We also talk about bystander intervention and try to get other students, especially boys, to speak up if they witness sexual harassment. The whole point is respect. We also talk about the media and how it contributes to our society’s concept of what it means to be a boy or a girl.” Jones also explained that each team is required to include at least one boy because “primary prevention puts an emphasis on people who perpetrate violence, not just on the victims. We wanted to get guys involved so they could be positive influences on their friends. Having boys involved also helps establish a dialogue between boys and girls.” Evaluation of the 2008-2009 effort found that teens who participated in the program had significantly increased knowledge of sexual violence and an improved understanding of consent issues. Students liked the program. Focus groups revealed that the winning ad clearly conveyed its message to teenage boys - the target audience. More than 78,000 boys saw the winning PSA on broadcast or cable outlets. Each boy viewed the PSA an average of 3.7 times. You can watch winning PSAs and find more information about Your Voice, Your View at http://www.dayoneri.org/. For more information about the program, contact Hilary Jones at hilary.jones@health.ri.gov or 401-222-3293.

Topics:
Teen Dating Violence
Ohio
Jun 2015

From The Huffington Post
Police officers in Ohio are on a very serious mission this summer and are handing out tickets left and right. Officers are targeting kids 12 and under. If a cop spots a child wearing a bike helmet while riding, that suspect will be stopped and issued a ticket. And what is that ticket good for? One free ice cream cone from Franks Drive-in.

Click here for the news story from the Huffington Post

Topics:
Bike Safety
Ohio
Jun 2015

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has devised rules to immediately remove a player and provide him medical attention upon showing signs of a concussion, said Hank Zaborniak, the association's assistant commissioner.

To read the news story, click here.

Topics:
Sports Safety, Traumatic Brain Injuries
Ohio
Jun 2015

Hospital maternity units and newborn care nurseries would have to report the number of infants born addicted to drugs under a bill headed to Ohio's governor.

The state Senate unanimously passed the measure Wednesday, and Gov. John Kasich was expected to sign it.

The measure is one of several aimed at reducing the state's prescription painkiller addiction epidemic. Supporters say tracking the number of drug-addicted babies will help the state monitor Ohio's progress in fighting drug addiction.

The facilities would be required to report the information to the state Health Department every three months. Patients would not be identified, and the information could not be used for law enforcement purposes. Should a maternity unit, maternity home or newborn care nursery fail to comply with the requirement, the state could impose a fine or revoke or suspend its license.

Overdose drug deaths have been the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio since 2007, surpassing car crashes. Many of those deaths are from painkillers and heroin.

Click here for the full story from the Washington Times

Topics:
Prescription Drug Misuse Abuse, Underage Drinking Illicit Drug Abuse
Utah
Jun 2015

According to YRBS data, in 2013:

  • 22.7% of students reported being verbally or emotionally harmed one or more times by a dating partner. Females (19.2%) were more likely to report verbal and emotional abuse compared to males (11.7%).
  • 10.7% of students reported being forced to do sexual things they did not want to by a dating partner. Females (15.0%) were more likely to report sexual abuse compared to males (6.3%).
  • 6.9% of students reported being physically hurt on purpose one or more times by a dating partner.
  • 21.9% of students reported being bullied on school property; with the majority (16.8%) being electronically bullied.

To help teachers and students understand the dynamics of unhealthy dating relationships, the UDOH and Utah Healthy Relationship Task Force have developed a dating violence prevention toolkit.

Click here to read the full news release from the Utah Department of Health

Topics:
Teen Dating Violence
New Jersey
Jun 2015

On May 1, 2010, New Jersey implemented a law requiring teenagers with learner's permits or probationary licenses to display reflective decals on the front and rear license plates when they drive. The current study examined attitudes of parents and teenagers toward this requirement, use of decals, and reported violations and police enforcement of the graduated driver license law.

Early examination of New Jersey's decal requirement found widespread opposition, primarily due to concerns about identifying/targeting teenage drivers, though first-hand reports of such incidents were very rare. Many teenagers do not use the decals. Increased issuance of citations for violations of the teenage licensing law suggests that decals are facilitating police enforcement. However, based on teenagers’ self-reports, the requirement does not appear to have achieved the ultimate goal of increased compliance.

Click here for the full abstract from Traffic Injury Prevention

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
New Jersey
Jun 2015

The red decals that young drivers in New Jersey must display on their license plates have prevented more than 1,600 car accidents, a new study suggests.

Researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia also found that the decals help police officers enforce laws that apply to new drivers.

Drivers younger than 21 can be fined $100 for not complying with even one of New Jersey's graduated driver license (GDL) restrictions, including limits on the number of passengers and a ban on driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

For the news article, click here.

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
New Jersey
Jun 2015

New Jersey lawmakers are looking to upgrade the penalties for allowing children access to loaded, unlocked firearms. The bill, which a Senate committee advanced unanimously Thursday, was written in response to the April 2013 death of 6-year-old Brandon Holt of Toms River, who was accidentally shot in the head by a 4-year-old with a loaded .22-caliber rifle as they played.

State law already requires gun owners to store loaded firearms in a locked container or secure location or secure them with a trigger lock if they reasonably should know a minor would likely have access to the weapon. Now, officials are considering stricter penalties.

Currently, if an unsecured gun is used by a minor, it’s a disorderly person’s offense, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000. Under a proposal, it would be a fourth-degree crime carrying up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine if an injury results or a third-degree crime punishable by 3 to 5 years and a $15,000 fine if death or serious injury results.

For more information from The Daily Journalclick here

Topics:
Firearms
New Jersey
Jun 2015

In 1995, after a tragic year in which eight children and a teacher died by suicide, the Mercer County (New Jersey) Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) was created to respond to distressing events, including suicides. The project was funded by the Division of Family Health Services (New Jersey's Title V agency) under the supervision of Celeste Andriot- Wood, Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Family Health Services. Kathleen Mackiewicz, program officer for the Mercer County TLC, said that this project represented a "unique vision" of preventive health care. Title V support for this vision proved critical in developing a model which is now used in all 21 of New Jersey's counties.

In 1999, a partnership including the NJ Department of Education and NJ Division of Mental Health Services decided to expand the TLC model to other counties in the state under the auspices of the Behavioral Research and Training Institute at the NJ University of Medicine and Dentistry, which was already involved in this issue through its Managing Sudden Traumatic Loss In The Schools program. Although this growth was slated to be gradual, the tragic events of 9/11 provided the impetus, and a grant from the NJ Division of Mental Health the resources, to accelerate the expansion of the TLC program to all 21 counties, given the substantial numbers of children who saw this disturbing event from the windows of schools overlooking the Manhattan skyline. While Title V funds still support the Mercer County program, the coalitions in the other counties are supported by a combination of Federal block grant funds administered by the Department of Children and Families, as well as whatever State and county funds each coalition generates on its own. The Department of Children and Families also funds a full-time state coordinator and central office to for the coalitions.

Each TLC includes representatives from schools, local governments, hospitals, clergy, and local police, fire, EMS and mental health agencies. In addition to creating a coordinated response to traumatic incidents and actually responding to these incidents, the coalitions sponsor workshops and training to both lay people and professionals on issues including dealing with mental illness, the traumatic effects of bullying and domestic violence, managing traumatic loss in schools, and suicide prevention.

In May 2006, the Division of Family Health Services sponsored a meeting to begin work on a state suicide prevention plan, a plan that has since been circulated to the major suicide prevention partners in New Jersey and revised. Once this plan is officially adopted, New Jersey will become eligible to receive funds appropriated under the Garrett Lee Smith Act.

For more information on the NJ Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth Program, see its website at http://ubhc.rutgers.edu/tlc/ or contact Donna Amundson, Program Manager, at 732-235-2818 oramundsdm@umdnj.edu. Additional information can be found on the Division of Family and Health Services website athttp://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs. Kathleen Mackiewicz can be reached at 609-292-8104 orKathleen.Mackiewicz@doh.state.nj.us.

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
New Mexico
Jun 2015

New Mexico EMS for Children (EMSC) has released two new online modules: "Safe Transport of Children in EMS Vehicles Part 1 and Part 2." The modules address the specific issues, concerns, recommendations, and guidelines to improve current practice regarding the safe transport of pediatric patients in emergency vehicles. 

Topics:
General Multiple Causes
North Carolina
Jun 2015

Ten minutes after a 20-month-old swallowed a laundry detergent packet, the child developed profuse vomiting, wheezing and gasping and then became unresponsive to even painful stimuli.

A 17-month-old who bit into a pack and swallowed a mouthful had profuse vomiting and, after arrival at a hospital, had to be put on a ventilator for airway protection. 

These are only two real life scenarios of children who have ingested “single dose packs” of laundry detergent - a danger highlighted in a recent News Release issued by the AAPCC (American Association of Poison Control Centers).

The packaging of the detergent is very similar to candy and creates a particular danger for children who can’t read labels. Since the concern has been raised, Procter & Gamble, one manufacturer of the pods, has announced new packaging for the product.

The initial alert about the problem was raised by Dr. Michael Beuhler, medical director of the Carolinas Poison Center, after two cases were called in to the Center.  Dr. Beuhler issued an alert and query on the AAPCC Medical Directors listserv and discovered additional serious cases around the country, as well as a case series in Italy where the product has been on the market longer. Nationally, over 320 calls were made to Poison Control Centers this month regarding the product. 

Dr. Buehler worked with the state public health laboratory to analyze the pods and the cases were reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission for further investigation.  National network television broadcast the story.  Procter & Gamble has responded by adding a double latch lid to containers of its new product; other manufacturers have not yet announced similar plans. 

Poison Control Centers provide free, 24-hour professional expertise and treatment advice by phone.  All poison centers can be reached by calling 1-800-222-1222.  Poison Centers are staffed by pharmacists, physicians, nurses and poison information providers who are toxicology specialists. In 2010, 60 regional Poison Control Centers serving the entire population of the 50 United States, American Samoa, District of Columbia, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands reported 3,952,772 closed encounters were logged by PCC’s: 2,384,825, human exposures, 94,823 animal exposures, 1,466,253 information calls, 6537 human confirmed nonexposures, and 334 animal confirmed nonexposures.

It has been estimated that for every $1.00 spent on Poison Control Centers there is $7.00 saved in health care costs. 

Topics:
Poison Prevention
New York
Jun 2015

Over the last 18 months, 14,385 second graders from 132 public schools have been introduced to the water through Swim for Life, a name borrowed from a program in Philadelphia. That is an impressive number, but as Mr. Benepe noted, it covers just 10 percent of second-grade children in the last two years. “Basically, it costs about $100 to drown-proof a kid,” he said.

Read the full story from the New York Times

Topics:
Drowning Prevention
New York
Jun 2015

Fewer kids were injured during early morning and after school hours once new traffic lights, pedestrian signals and speed bumps were put around New York City schools, according to a new study.

Those fixtures were added through the Safe Routes to School program, which received over $600 million from the U.S. Congress in 2005 to improve kids' ability to walk and bike to schools across the country.

For the news story, click here.

For the abstract from Pediatrics, click here

Topics:
Pedestrian Safety
New York
Jun 2015

Pedestrians struck by cars are most often hit while in the crosswalk, with the signal on their side.

Taxicabs pose a disproportionate threat to cyclists, who often compete for the same sliver of curbside roadway.

And as New Yorkers brace for contact, an unexpected factor may protect against serious injury: being overweight.

These are among the findings of a medical study of injured pedestrians and cyclists in the city, conducted by a team of trauma surgeons, emergency physicians and researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center.

From December 2008 to June 2011, the group studied more than 1,400 pedestrians and cyclists treated at Bellevue Hospital Center after collisions. Most occurred in Manhattan and western Brooklyn, stretching along the busiest corridors of a city where street safety and traffic engineering have been trumpeted as defining legacies of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure.

Click here for the news story

Click here for the abstract from the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery

Topics:
Bike Safety, Pedestrian Safety
North Carolina
Jun 2015

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) today announced it is the recipient of a $50,000 grant from the Eshelman Foundation. This is the third year PCANC has received support from the foundation for its work in local communities across North Carolina. The grant will allow PCANC to support local community organizations implementing the Circle of Parents Program, Strengthening Families Program 6-11, and The Incredible Years BASIC Parenting Program. All three programs are backed by extensive research showing they are effective in strengthening families and reducing child abuse and neglect. 

Click here to read the full press release

Topics:
Child Maltreatment
North Carolina
Jun 2015

In North Carolina, any and all bullying of teachers by students will be outlawed as part of a broad anti-bullying legislation that goes into effect on December 1st of this year. The School Violence Prevention Act of 2012 will make it a misdemeanor for a student to post online anything that aims to intimidate or torment a school employee. This will serve to extend the protection offered to students and their parents against cyberbullies by a 2009 law to teachers and school staff.

For the news story, click here.

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
North Dakota
Jun 2015

In an effort to reduce suicide rates in the state, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is expanding their community education programs to educate citizens on how to recognize the warning signs of suicide.

"One of the best ways to reduce suicide rates is to increase community awareness of the prevalence of suicide in North Dakota. Most people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts do not want to die; they only want their pain to end. Offering to talk to people about their thoughts of suicide and referring them to other people who can help is one way to end the pain without ending a life," says Micki Savelkoul, Suicide Prevention Program Director at the North Dakota Department of Health.

Suicide numbers continue to climb both nationally - 40,600 in 2012 - and within North Dakota - 138 in 2013, which is the most recent data.

In 2013, North Dakotans between the ages of 35 and 44 had the highest rate of suicide in North Dakota at 31.9 per 100,000, followed closely by people ages 25 to 34 with a suicide rate of 29.8 per 100,000.

Community education programs focus on teaching people how to identify warning signs and how to ask about suicidal thoughts, as well as provide resources for those thinking of suicide. These trainings are known as "gatekeeper" trainings. A gatekeeper is someone who is able to recognize warning signs of emotional distress and crisis.

North Dakota Department of Health is offering two community education programs free to communities upon request. The programs are SafeTALK and Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR).

Access the article from Valley News

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
New York
Jun 2015

About 130 pedestrians died in New York City traffic accidents last year, the lowest number since the city began keeping such records 100 years ago. Overall, traffic fatalities in the city fell to about 250, down from 300 in 2013.

The news comes less than a year after Mayor Bill DeBlasio declared traffic deaths unacceptable and announced that he would put the “full weight of city government” behind an effort to stem the deaths. Since then, the mayor has pushed through a slew of new laws designed to make the streets safer, including a reduction in the default speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour. The New York Police Department (NYPD) has also stepped up enforcement of existing traffic laws. The number of speeding summonses increased by 42% and the number for failure to yield to a pedestrian increased by 126%.

“There is no question we are moving this city in the right direction, thanks to stepped up enforcement by the NYPD, strong traffic safety measures by the Department of Transportation, new laws passed by our legislators and the work of New Yorkers fighting for change,” DeBlasio said in a statement.

The decline in traffic fatalities was not consistent across all methods of transportation; the number of bicyclists who died in traffic accidents in 2014 increased to 20 from 12 the previous year.

DeBlasio’s traffic safety push, called Vision Zero, follows principles developed by a Swedish campaign of the same name. The Scandinavian country’s investment in infrastructure, technology and enforcement has cut traffic deaths in half since the beginning of the initiative.

While the movement has spread around the globe, New York has been among the most enthusiastic adopters in the United States and transportation advocates say they’re hopeful that the city’s success will lead the movement to spread.

Read the full article from Times

Topics:
Pedestrian Safety
New York
Jun 2015

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body of research documenting head trauma among young offenders.

Experts say the findings, published this week in The Journal of Adolescent Health, could lead to better training for correction officers on how to deal with the possible symptoms of such trauma, which include problems with impulse control and decision-making.

"You need to train the correction officers to understand brain injuries so that when somebody may be acting rude or answering back or forgetting what they're supposed to do, it's not a sign of maladaptive misbehavior or disrespect, it's a sign of a brain injury," said Wayne Gordon, a brain injury expert at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital.

The peer-reviewed study was based on medical brain injury questionnaires given to 300 boys and 84 girls inside the nation's second-largest jail system in 2012.

Click here for the news story

Click here for the study from the Journal of Adolescent Health

Topics:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Colorado
Jun 2015

The Injury and Suicide Prevention Program of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and the El Paso (Colorado) County Health Department are using a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant to evaluate a strategy to promote child passenger booster seats. The project targets child care center owners - many of whom opposed a proposed state law that would require children 4 and 5 years of age weighing under 40 pounds and less than 55 inches tall to use booster seats when riding in motor vehicles. The child care centers' owners were concerned about the expense of buying booster seats and retro-fitting vans with booster-compatible restraint systems. The legislation passed and took effect in August, 2004.

Barb Bailey, CDHE Childhood Injury Prevention Coordinator, said that "We didn't want to be a burden to the child care centers. We wanted to help them comply with the new law - and to turn them into booster seat proponents so they could help us reach parents." Shannon Breitzman, Director of the CDHE Injury and Suicide Prevention Program, reiterated the importance of gaining this support, reporting that "the project intervention was designed to have a lot of community involvement. We didn't want to be perceived as the state coming in and telling people what to do."

The project is working with 40 centers - 21 intervention sites and 19 control sites. With the help of volunteers from the Colorado Springs chapters of Safe Kids and DRIVE SMART, the project surveyed center directors, staff, and parents about their knowledge of the new law and undertook an observational study to determine how many children leaving the centers were properly restrained.

Health department personnel and project volunteers trained child care staff about the new law and proper booster seat use. The project decided to promote seats for children up to eight years of age - which is recommended by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and CDC. Scenarios are used to teach child care staff to answer parents' questions about booster seats. The project also gave child care staff "Ask me about booster seats" buttons to initiate these conversations. Child care staff also learned to teach parents the "5-Step Test" which reveals if children are ready to move from a booster seat to the seat belt system. The "5-Step Test" also helps parents explain booster seats to their children. The project gave more than 900 booster seats to child care centers and to the parents of children aged 4-8 enrolled in the these programs.

The project uses every opportunity to reinforce the booster seat message. Children were given Halloween bags that carried the message "How do little ghosts and goblins ride in cars? They ride safely in a BOOOOster seat." Parents were given tote bags promoting booster seats. This February, children will be given "You Give Me a Boost on Valentine's Day" cards to color and take home. These cards also include instructions for the "5-Step Test." Child care centers were given booster seat information they could use in their newsletters to educate parents. This spring, the project will hold a contest to see which of the centers can create the best "5 Step Test" booster seat mural. Each center will be given art supplies and a disposable camera to document the creation of their mural. The winner will be rewarded with a large banner congratulating them on their efforts.

The project is also examining child care center transportation policies and promoting transportation policies based on Safe Kids Worldwide recommendations.

A second round of surveys and observations will take place in May 2006 to determine if the project has increased parent and staff knowledge about booster seats and new law and, most importantly, the percentage of children who are properly restrained on the way to and from the child care facilities.

The grant is also funding a rural seat belt enforcement project in Prowers County and Delta Counties.

For more information on either the booster seat or seat belt enforcement projects, contact Barbara Bailey, Childhood Injury Prevention Coordinator at barbara.bailey@state.co.us or 303-692-2589.

Topics:
Child Passenger Safety
Michigan
Jun 2015

The Rural/Agricultural Injuries Community of Practice (COP) was a Children’s Safety Network initiative that brought together representatives from six Northeastern states to reduce rural injury rates, which are often significantly higher than injury rates in urban areas. The COP provided a sustained opportunity to explore the particular challenges of preventing injuries in rural communities.

CSN provided each of the participating states with state-specific data comparing rural and urban injuries and facilitated monthly conference calls for representatives from the six states. These calls included presentations on one or more of four injury topics: 1) injuries related to ATV and off-road vehicles, 2) injuries related to teen driving, 3) youth suicide, and 4) farm and agricultural injuries. The conference calls also provided time for the states to discuss their injury data and to share strategies for reducing rural injuries.

In September 2009, CSN convened a meeting at which teams from each state developed action plans to address at least one of these four types of injuries. The membership of each team reflected the stakeholders needed to take effective action on the issue. Teams frequently included representatives from a state’s Child Death Review team, Division of Maternal and Child Health, Injury Prevention Program, Rural Health Office, Injury Free Coalition, Division of Mental Health (for states addressing suicide), Parks and Recreation Committee (for states addressing ATV injuries), and Department of Transportation (for states addressing teen driving). Continued meetings of the Community of Practice, as well as technical assistance from CSN, facilitated the work of the state teams.

The Massachusetts state team decided to focus on All Terrain Vehicle (ATV)-related injuries in support of the Massachusetts Prevent Injuries Now! Network’s sponsorship of legislation that would 1) raise the minimum age required to ride an ATV from 10 to 14, 2) increase the penalty for driving an ATV while intoxicated from $75 to a maximum of $5,000, 3) mandate safety training for all ATV operators under the age of 18, 4) create a fund, from ATV registration fees and fines, to improve ATV law enforcement and maintain ATV trails, and 5) establish an advisory group.

This proposed legislation was called “Sean’s Law” as a memorial to Sean Kearney, an 8-year-old boy who died after an ATV on which he and another child were riding overturned in 2006. The children were not being supervised by an adult at the time. Sean’s parents, as well as the trauma physician on duty when Sean was medflighted to Massachusetts General Hospital, were instrumental in pushing for the new law. Sean’s Law was modeled after legislation in Nova Scotia that reduced the ATV injury rate for children by more than 50 percent.

The Massachusetts state team included representatives from the Commonwealth’s Department of Public Health Injury Prevention and Control Program and Office of Rural Health as well as Massachusetts General Hospital, Children’s Hospital – Boston, and Families for ATV Safety. The team issued alerts to participants and partners when the bill was scheduled for hearings, helped them draft and present testimony on the importance and effectiveness of the proposed legislation, supported the bill’s progress through the committee process, and thanked legislators who supported the bill. Lewis Howe, Massachusetts Injury Prevention Coordinator, said that the Community of Practice process helped provide an impetus for this activity as well as support in crafting a coherent and cohesive message on the issue. Sean’s Law was passed by the Massachusetts legislature in July 2010 and signed by Governor Deval Patrick later in the summer. The provisions of Sean’s Law will go into effect on October 1, 2010.

In September 2010, CSN created a National Rural Injury Community of Practice that includes representatives from 13 states.

For more information on the National Rural Injury Community of Practice, contact Erica Streit-Kaplan of the Children’s Safety Network at 617-618-2178 or EStreit-Kaplan@edc.org. For more information on the Massachusetts state team’s activities, contact Lewis Howe at 617-624-5460 or Lewis.Howe@state.ma.us.

Topics:
Road Vehicles
Oregon
Jun 2015

In 2009, Governor Ted Kulongoski of Oregon proposed setting specific targets for automobile use in order to meet greenhouse gas emission goals already established in that state. Upstream Public Health, with funding from the Northwest Health Foundation, convened a workgroup to assess how strategies to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) would affect the health of Oregonians.

The group included representatives from the Oregon Public Health Division, two county health departments, a major HMO, Portland State University, and others. The HIA Workgroup used the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) process to assess 11 specific VMT-reduction policies on three areas of health, including car collisions. The workgroup recommended five policies: 1) maximizing the density of urban neighborhoods, 2) requiring new developments be mixed-use and high-density with good connectivity, 3) improving the pedestrian infrastructure, 4) expanding and promoting public transportation, and 5) requiring businesses in metropolitan areas to charge for employee parking.

All these policies were found to have the potential to prevent injuries resulting from car collisions (including injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists). Mel Rader, Co-Director for Upstream Public Health, reported that the workgroup’s report has already had an impact on the political debate. The Oregon State Legislature created a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Task Force to draft legislation that includes VMT reduction targets which will be considered by the Oregon legislature in February of 2010.

This is not Oregon’s first experience with an HIA that assessed a proposed project for its impact on injury. In June 2008, the Portland Health Impact Assessment Workgroup released the results of an HIA that assessed the health consequences (including the impact on motor vehicle-related injuries of a proposed highway project (the Columbia River Crossing) and recommended that the project include wide bicycle and pedestrian paths separated from the roadway, adequate signage and lighting, and increased connectivity of routes to offset a potential increase in the number of injures created by the increased number of vehicles that the new highway project would create.

For more information on the Oregon Health Impact Assessment Network, contact Mel Rader at 503-284-6390 ormel@upstreampublichealth.org.

Health Impact Assessment on Policies Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled in Oregon Metropolitan Areas, can be downloaded at http://www.upstreampublichealth.org/sites/default/files/HIA%20VMT%20Reduction.pdf

The Columbia River Crossing Health Impact Assessment can be downloaded from the Coalition for a Livable Future website at http://www.clfuture.org/projects/ShiftTheBalance/Columbia%20River%20Crossing/CRCDocs

More information on Health Impact Assessments can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/hia.htm

Postscript: On February 24, 2010, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1059, which directs the Oregon Transportation Commission to create a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emission, including measures that would reduce the use of motor vehicles and encourage the use of public transportation, walking, and bicycling. Governor Ted Kulongoski is expected to sign the bill later this year.

Topics:
Choking Strangulation
Vermont
Jun 2015

The Vermont Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Center for Health & Learning presented the Vermont Youth Suicide Prevention Platform 2012, a guide for future suicide prevention efforts in the state.

The new platform, expanded and updated from the 2004 Vermont Suicide Prevention Platform, is the product of a coalition of 26 state organizations and interested individuals. It contains guiding principles, goals and objectives, actions and resources based on the latest research and evidence of success in suicide prevention.

To learn more, visit: http://vtdigger.org/2012/02/08/youth-suicide-prevention-platform-launched/

To read the Vermont Youth Suicide Prevention Platform 2012, visit:http://www.healthandlearning.org/documents/YouthSuicidePrevention.pdf

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
Virginia
Jun 2015

Police broke into a car to rescue a baby boy locked inside Thursday afternoon. George Mason University Police received a report of a child alone in a car about 2 p.m. Three officers responded to a conference center parking lot on campus. One smashed a window with a nightstick. When the officers removed the 10-month-old from the vehicle, he was sweating and hot to the touch, News4’s Jackie Bensen reported. He was taken to an ambulance.

Click here to read more

Topics:
Child Passenger Safety
Washington
Jun 2015

Stashed in Kitsap County Coroner Greg Sandstrom’s office are five Graco portable cribs.

You probably wouldn’t expect to find the cribs in an office that rarely has children passing through, but Sandstrom has them on hand to give to families he hopes he’ll never have to meet while he’s on a death investigation.

“It’s so important that babies are sleeping in a crib,” Sandstrom said. “Co-sleeping and sleeping with heavy blankets and heavy pillows and multiple toys in the crib, these things are causing multiple suffocations.”

Sandstrom’s office responded to 33 infant deaths in from 2008 to 2012. The highest number of deaths were in 2008 with 10, while last year his office recorded five. Sandstrom has statistics for autopsies conducted on infants from birth to 3 years old because they are paid for by the state, he said.

“That’s the hardest part of our job, beyond notifying next of kin, is dealing with baby deaths,” Sandstrom said.

To help reduce the number of accidental infant deaths, Sandstrom has partnered with the national nonprofit Cribs for Kids, which is dedicated to getting the message out about safe sleep environments for babies.

Click here to read the news story from the Kitsap Sun

Topics:
Safe Sleep
Washington
Jun 2015

A committee of experts convened to review child deaths in King County is calling for action to prevent suicides among teenagers, after a high number of youth suicides in 2012.

Last year, eleven children died by suicide, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s office. That compares to four suicides in an average year among children younger than 18 years of age.

Of those eleven suicides, five were by firearm, five by hanging, and one by jumping.

In recent years, the highest number of youth suicides in any one year had been seven, based on a review of data from 1999 to the present. While the numbers do not represent a statistical trend, the suicides are worrisome.

Click here for the news story from LocalHealthGuide

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
Washington
Jun 2015

A study just published by the journal Remedial and Special Education reveals that bullying by students with disabilities decreased by 20 percent over a three-year period when they participated in the Second Step program, and award-winning social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum created by Seattle-based nonprofit Committee for Children.

Read the full story
Purchase the original study

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
Washington
Jun 2015

From Seattle Times

Suicide stalks Indian Country, claiming more lives of native youth than those in any other population, not only in Washington, but nationally.

State Department of Health statistics released this month show that in Washington, the rate of suicide among native youth from 10 to 24 years old was more than double the rate of any other ethnic population.

Tribes are fighting back. At the Lummi Nation, tribal leaders last year enhanced a long-standing social-services program with a youth suicide-prevention component. The Colville, Spokane and Yakama tribes also are utilizing prevention grants and training through the Native Aspirations Program. The Spokane-based program for the past five years has helped 65 tribes across the country combat suicide, the second-biggest killer of native youth, after accidents.

Click here for the news story from the Seattle Times

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
Pennsylvania
Jun 2015

Researchers found that males living in Philadelphia who identified supportive relationships with parents and other adult family members were significantly less likely to report that they were involved in violence or had witnessed violence.

"This is good news. In neighborhoods with high levels of community violence and few safe spaces to spend time, having supportive adult connections is protective against violence exposure," said lead researcher Alison Culyba, MD MPH, clinical fellow in the Craig-Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Read the full story from Science Daily

Read the abstract

Topics:
Youth Violence Prevention
Washington
Jun 2015

To examine associations between parental military service and school-based weapon carrying, school-based physical fighting and gang membership among youth. We used cross-sectional data from the 2008 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey collected in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades of public schools (n = 9,987). Parental military service was categorized as none (reference group), without combat zone deployment, or deployed to a combat zone. Multivariable logistic regression was used to test associations between parental military service and three outcomes: school-based weapon carrying, school-based physical fighting and gang membership. Standard errors were adjusted for the complex survey design. In 8th grade, parental deployment was associated with higher odds of reporting gang membership (OR = 1.8) among girls, and higher odds of physical fighting (OR = 1.6), and gang membership (OR = 1.9) among boys. In 10th/12th grade, parental deployment was associated with higher odds of reporting physical fighting (OR = 2.0) and gang membership (OR = 2.2) among girls, and physical fighting (OR = 2.0), carrying a weapon (OR = 2.3) among boys. Parental military deployment is associated with increased odds of reporting engagement in school-based physical fighting, school-based weapon carrying, and gang membership, particularly among older youth. Military, school, and public health professionals have a unique, collaborative opportunity to develop school- and community-based interventions to prevent violence-related behaviors among youth and, ultimately, improve the health and safety of youth in military families. Ideally, such programs would target families and youth before they enter eighth grade.

Click here to purchase the study from the Maternal and Child Health Journal

Topics:
Youth Violence Prevention
West Virginia
Jun 2015

Pediatric Bicycle Injury Prevention and the Effect of Helmet Use: The West Virginia Experience | WV Medical Journal

The primary objective of this 2012 study from theWV Medical Journal was evaluation of the injury pattern of children 14 years old or less involved in bicycle accidents and comparison of the differences between those wearing a helmet and not wearing a helmet. This study of the West Virginia pediatric population demonstrates findings similar to prior studies looking at the effectiveness of helmets in preventing injuries during a bicycle crash. Bicycle helmets were shown to significantly reduce the rates of both skull fractures and intracranial hemorrhage. Based on this, the expanded use of helmets within the pediatric population should continue to be encouraged both from an educational and legislative standpoint.

Click here to read the full study (free)

Injury Prevention and Recreational All-Terrain Vehicle Use: The Impact of Helmet Use in West Virginia | WV Medical Journal

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a popular source of outdoor activity in the United States, particularly in West Virginia. During the period of time from 1999 to 2007, deaths associated with ATVs in West Virginia increased by 28%. Helmet use among bicycle and motorcycle riders has been shown to decrease morbidity and mortality following trauma. The findings of this study from the WV Medical Journal support previous studies documenting that helmet use is protective against intracranial injury and other injuries of the head and neck. ATV use continues to be a significant contribution to trauma morbidity and mortality in West Virginia. Efforts that focus on increased helmet use have the potential to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality following ATV trauma. Enforcement of the current West Virginia ATV Law should be encouraged. Legislation expanding the mandatory use of safety equipment and rider training should be enacted in West Virginia.

Click here to read the full article (free)

 

Click here to access the full journal (free)

Topics:
Road Vehicles
Wisconsin
Jun 2015

Cyberbullying isn’t just wrong in Vernon County, Wisconsin. After this week, electronic messages that annoy, offend or ridicule are now criminal. Yesterday, the county voted to approve the anti-cyberbullying ordinance that was approved by the county board of supervisors last month.

For the news story, click here.

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
North Carolina
Jun 2015

The aims of this project were to describe the work safety climate and the association between occupational safety behaviors and injuries among hired youth farmworkers in North Carolina (n = 87). The researchers conducted personal interviews among a cross-sectional sample of youth farmworkers aged 10 to 17 years.  The majority of youths reported that work safety practices were very important to management, yet 38% stated that supervisors were only interested in “doing the job quickly and cheaply.” Few youths reported appropriate work safety behavior, and 14% experienced an injury within the past 12 months. In bivariate analysis, perceptions of work safety climate were significantly associated with pesticide exposure risk factors for rewearing wet shoes (P = .01), wet clothes (P = .01), and shorts (P = .03).   Youth farmworkers perceived their work safety climate as being poor. Although additional research is needed to support these findings, these results strengthen the need to increase employer awareness to improve the safety climate for protecting youth farmworkers from harmful exposures and injuries.

Purchase the study

Topics:
Rural Farm Safety, Young Worker Safety
Oregon
Jun 2015

Oregon's Connecting Youth project identifies and provides services to children and adolescents who have attempted suicide. The project is being carried out by the Oregon Department of Human Service's Injury Prevention and Epidemiology Section with funding from the Northwest Health Foundation.

The Connecting Youth project is being piloted in Oregon's Benton and Deschutes Counties. Medical professionals in the pilot-site hospital emergency rooms who believe that a patient under the age of 17 has attempted suicide reports this suspicion to a Connecting Youth Prevention Specialist. Emergency room staff in Oregon are required to submit reports on suicide attempts by persons under the age of 17 to the Oregon Adolescent Suicide Attempt Data System. While separate reports are submitted this system and Connecting Youth, this unique mandatory reporting requirement has helped emergency room staff learn to identify youth who may have attempted suicide. Connecting Youth reinforces this awareness by providing emergency room staff with the two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIT) program.

The Prevention Specialist who receives the emergency room report makes individual calls to the youth and his or her family. Lisa Millet of the Injury Prevention and Epidemiology Section says that

We feel that there is a window in which people are willing to talk about suicide. Our target is to call family within two weeks of the youth's discharge from the emergency room or hospital. Calls are made to the parents and to the youth. We want them both involved. In Oregon, youth over the age of 14 have the right to choose their own medical treatment, even without their parents consent. We want to give them the opportunity to make their own choices. We want to use this opportunity to signal to them that parents and youth don't always agree with one another about what types of care the youth needs. In some cases the child is interested in getting care but the parents don't understand the need for this care. But in most cases we want the parents to be involved. We try to help the parents understand the broad range of approaches to working with depression and youth stressors and to monitor their child's mood.

The program relies upon Counselors Care (C-Care) and Parents Care (P-Care), two evidence-based programs developed by Reconnecting Youth in Seattle. C-Care uses a computer-assisted motivational interview to assess a youth's risk of suicide and to help the youth develop skills to reduce this risk. If the youth agrees to work with the Prevention Specialist, they arrange to meet in a place that the youth feels is safe and will not expose him or her to the stigma often associated with suicide or mental health issues. At this meeting, the young person completes a questionnaire about suicide risk and protective factors in his or her life. The young person's answers are entered into a laptop computer and analyzed. This analysis shows the Prevention Specialist and the youth how these risk factors and protective factors compare with those of other people of the same age. The risk factors compared include the number of days of each week the youth is depressed and his or her alcohol consumption. The young person and Prevention Specialist review this information and establish an action plan to reduce risk and strengthen protective factors. Together, they decide when they will meet with the youth's parents to discuss the interview and action plan.

An essential feature of the action plan is establishing or strengthening a relationship between youth and caring adults who can support them in their efforts to reduce their risk. This adult can be a teacher, coach, counselor, adult relative, older brother or sister, or church youth counselor. The Prevention Specialist introduces this caring adult to the program and gives this adult telephone numbers to call if he or she sees the youth is experiencing difficulties. These adults may report dangerous behavior to the Prevention Specialist, the youth's parents, or, in the case of a situation in which the youth may be in immediate danger, the police or other first responders. The youth has already consented to such calls as part of the action plan.

After three months, the Prevention Specialist meets with the youth for a second interview during which the youth again completes the risk and protective factor questionnaire to measure if progress has been made and the risk of suicide reduced.

Preventions Specialists also uses P-Care, a two-session intervention for parents that strengthens their ability to recognize and respond to the warning signs of suicide or depression in their children, create a stronger family bond, and coach teens in coping skills (such as decision-making). The Prevention Specialists also tries to dispel any negative attitudes parents may have toward mental health care and help them establish strong connections with community helpers, including mental health workers.

Lisa Millet stresses that "the purpose of Connecting Youth is not to provide care, but to strengthen youths' ability to reach out to support networks in the community, as well as to help parents support their children. Parents of a young person who has attempted suicide can feel at a loss. We want to show parents that they have not failed - that their children have a condition that can be treated and that the parents are still the most important people in their child's life."

The three-year project is using questionnaires administered to youth in a control county to compare the follow-up care these children receive with the services used by children in the Connecting Youth counties. The project also wants to measure how acceptable the Connecting Youth process is, not only to parents and youth, but to the hospitals and local mental health agencies that serve these families.

For more information on Connecting Youth, contact Lisa Millet, Injury and Violence Prevention Manager, atlisa.m.millet@state.or.us or 971-673-1059.

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
Virginia
Jun 2015

From the Journal of Safety Research
Children aged 8- to 12-years-old (“tweens”) are at high risk for crash injury, and motor vehicle crashes are their leading cause of death. Multiple methods revealed low rates of occupant protection among low-income tweens. 58% of tweens reported wearing their seat belts “not very much at all” or “never.” 65% of tweens observed were unrestrained. 48% of tweens reported usually sitting in the front seat, or front and back equally. 60% of tweens observed were in the front seat.

Click here for the abstract from the Journal of Safety Research

Topics:
Child Passenger Safety
Rhode Island
Jun 2015

Men2B is an innovative role model training program that helps men encourage boys to make healthy decisions. The program addresses many issues of interest to injury and violence prevention and Maternal and Child Health professionals, including those who address youth violence, bullying, and intimate partner violence. Tricia Washburn of the Health Promotion & Wellness Team, reported that

Parents and other people in the community were looking for ways to reduce high-risk behaviors among youth. They turned to the Rhode Island Department of Health for help. We convened focus groups to learn more about the issues we needed to address to help youth make healthier choices. We learned that there was a need for men who knew how to serve as positive role models for boys. As a result, the Men2B program was developed. Research shows that adolescents who grow up with caring adults in their lives and who grow up in communities with high levels of support are more likely to become successful, responsible adults and less likely to have problems with substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, and violence.

Men2B teaches men to communicate effectively with adolescent boys and help them make healthy choices and develop good character and habits. It also trains the men in adolescent development, recognizing risk behaviors, and how - and where - to refer adolescents who might need more resources and professional help than they can provide.

The training sequence takes 12 hours (excluding an optional 4 hour follow-up session). Issues explored in the training include

  • being a man and being a role model
  • supporting adolescent behavior
  • communicating with boys
  • setting limits and using positive discipline
  • reducing mixed messages about sex, drugs, and violence
  • understanding reproductive health
  • addressing abuse and its effects
  • making positive health choices

Men are recruited to Men2B through community groups, religious organizations, businesses, and youth development agencies. After completing the training, men are better prepared to serve as positive role models to boys. Some volunteer with mentoring programs. Others serve as role models in informal community and family settings. Tricia Washburn reported that

We have trained a very broad group of men. This includes men who are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, coaches, and teachers to name a few. We didn't target a particular group. The philosophy of the program is that all men, for good or for bad, are role models - and we can help them become better role models. Men sense the need for the skills taught in Men2B. They love the information. They like the idea of being in a group setting, the comradeship, and the ability to discuss these issues with other men.

Rosemary Reilly-Chammat, of the Health Promotion & Wellness Team, added that "Men2B is designed to help men take advantage of their natural interactions with children. They do not have to be involved in a structured program."

An evaluation reveals that the program is having an impact. Tricia Washburn reports that the evaluation showed that

Most of the men were more willing to communicate with adolescents after having taken the program. More than half the men trained communicated more often with adolescents after the training than before - and specifically communicated about many of the topics included in the training - including sex, drugs, violence, bullying, responsible behavior, dating behavior, and seeking assistance for peers in trouble.

The materials for the program were created by the Rhode Island Department of Health. The materials include a Men2B Trainer's Guide and a Role Model Handbook (available in both English and Spanish).

Men2B was initially run through four nonprofits in target cities using federal money. More than 3,300 men have been trained. The program is now transitioning to the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership of Warwick who, with the RI Department of Health, is seeking monies to sustain the program without the Title V funding which has been supporting the initiative for the past two years. And, Rosemary Reilly-Chammat reports, they are starting to think about developing a Women2B program to train positive role models for girls.

For more information on Men2B, contact Rosemary Reilly-Chammat at (401) 222-5922 or Rosemary.Reilly-Chammat@health.ri.gov.

Topics:
FamilyIntimate Partner Violence
Texas
Jun 2015

Corporal punishment in schools is a thorny issue, as highlighted by a Texas school district’s recent decision to change its spanking policy. After two parents complained that their daughters had been beaten hard enough to develop bruises and burnlike redness on their skin, the Springtown school board voted last week to amend its corporal-punishment rules. Rather than abolishing the practice, however, the board members took pains to preserve teachers’ ability to physically discipline students: parents must now opt in with written permission allowing their children to be paddled when teachers feel it’s justified; previously, parents had to opt out of corporal punishment.

For the news story, click here.

Topics:
General Multiple Causes
Maryland
Jun 2015

From UNITY e-alert

Street outreach and violence interruption can prevent shootings and killings, and cities say it is a key strategy for preventing violence. In this publication, Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot describes the success of the Safe Streets Baltimore program. For example, one neighborhood went nearly two years without a homicide, and non-fatal shootings dropped by more than one-third. This publication is based on Dr. Barbot’s remarks from a congressional briefing on the public health approach to preventing violence, co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian and Pacific American Caucus, and UNITY.

Topics:
Youth Violence Prevention
Utah
Jun 2015

The number of suicides in Utah are running apace with the number of similar deaths from the same time last year. But suicide prevention efforts are about to take a giant step toward solving one of Utah's crushing problems.

According to data from the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner, 220 deaths were classified as suicides between Jan. 1 and May 31, a number that could increase as the cause of death in pending cases is determined.

During the same period in 2012, a total of 231 deaths were certified as suicides, according to the Utah Medical Examiner's Office. That keeps Utah on pace to match the data showing 562 suicides statewide in 2012. And it means suicide will again be a leading cause of death for teens and adults unless something changes.

Now both The Department of Human Services and the State Office of Education are appointing coordinators to directly attack the problem. And a third private effort will begin under the leadership of an educator who has helped bridge the gap between homes, schools and the resources available to help families prevent and understand factors that can lead to suicide.

Click here for the news story

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
Hawaii
Jun 2015

Monitoring trends in adolescent alcohol use over time is important for planning, allocation of resources, and evaluation of alcohol prevention and treatment programs. This article is an update of previously reported trends in adolescent alcohol use in the State of Hawai‘i utilizing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Five alcohol use indicators were investigated between 2005 and 2011 including lifetime use, onset age, current use, binge drinking, and drinking on school property. Youth in Hawai‘i generally reported worse alcohol behaviors in 2009 compared to 2007 but better alcohol use behaviors were observed in 2011 compared to 2009. This trend was not observed on the national level and thus may represent changes unique to Hawai‘i. These apparent changes in alcohol use among adolescents highlight the need for resources and for continued surveillance.

Click here for the full free study from the Hawaii Journal of Medicine & Public Health

Topics:
Underage Drinking Illicit Drug Abuse
Pennsylvania
Jun 2015

Comprehensive Concussion Program of Bucks County (PA)  http://www.stmaryhealthcare.org/impact

Atlanta, GA – Safe States Alliance honors the Comprehensive Concussion Program of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Safe States member, Kimberly Everett, selected as the 2013 winner of the Safe States Alliance Innovative Initiatives Award Program.

The winner of the “Innovative Initiative of the Year” award is selected exclusively by members of the Safe States Alliance, an organization comprised of hundreds of injury and violence prevention professionals and experts from around the nation. The award is given to an organization that has implemented a unique and creative program or activity that has the potential to substantially decrease injuries and violence in the communities that it serves. The award was presented today at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Safe States Alliance.

This year, the Comprehensive Concussion Program of Bucks County, Pennsylvania was recognized for their efforts in developing ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), a standardized tool used in comprehensive clinical management of concussions for athletes of all ages. ImPACT is the first, most widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system.

Given the inherent difficulties in concussion management, it is important to manage concussions on an individualized basis and to implement baseline testing and/or post-injury neurocognitive testing. This type of concussion assessment can help to objectively evaluate the concussed athlete's post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play, thus preventing the cumulative effects of concussion. In fact, neurocognitive testing has recently been called the “cornerstone” of proper concussion management by an international panel of sports medicine experts.

The Safe States Alliance applauds the strides that Bucks County, Pennsylvania has made to manage concussions. We look forward to continually working with Bucks County, Pennsylvania and Kimberly Everett, as well as many other partners nationwide, as we strive to build a safer, healthier America.

The Safe States Allianceis a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and professional association whose mission is to strengthen the practice of injury and violence prevention. Founded in 1993, the Safe States Alliance is the only national non-profit organization comprised of public health injury prevention professionals representing all states and territories in the United States.

 

For additional information, contact:

Ashley M. Pruett, CAE

Director of Membership & Communications

Safe States Alliance

Phone: (770) 690-9000

Email: ashley.pruett@safestates.org

Website: www.safestates.org

Topics:
Other Unintentional Injuries
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

The Massachusetts Division of Violence and Injury Prevention is working with a number of other units of the Bureau of Family Community Health (the Massachusetts maternal and child health agency) to protect women and children from domestic violence.

Carlene Pavlos, Director of the Division of Violence and Injury Prevention (DVIP) reported that preliminary work on the 2000 Massachusetts Title V Needs Assessment revealed that MCH service providers wanted more information on identifying and responding to domestic violence. Based on this information, the Bureau developed surveys to find out what Family Planning and WIC staff needed and - ultimately - the Domestic Violence Screening Care, Referral, and Information Project (DV SCRIP) which teaches MCH staff to identify and help clients who are victims of intimate partner violence.

The Division of Violence and Injury Prevention worked with other MCH programs - including WIC, the Early Intervention/Prevention Program, and the Family Planning Program - to train their staff in DV SCRIP. The collaboration with WIC proved especially successful. Initially, 35 WIC Programs in Massachusetts received DV SCRIP training. Four of these WIC programs served as pilot sites for the routine domestic violence screening of pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women. As part of the DV SCRIP training, staff from local domestic violence programs and state agencies such as the Department of Transitional Assistance Domestic Violence Unit, were invited to speak at these trainings. This helped WIC staff to learn about the programs to which they can refer victims of domestic violence - and it was a great opportunity to meet the individuals who would be accepting these referrals. DV SCRIP also teaches staff to care for their own emotional health - a critical skill for service providers addressing domestic violence. The pilot program was later expanded into an effort to train all staff in every WIC program in Massachusetts to routinely screen pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women for domestic violence. The success of DV SCRIP prompted WIC to add a domestic violence section to the WIC Operations Manual. This section includes policies and procedures on screening, the role of staff, referrals, and self-care.

Working with victims of domestic violence can be intimidating. Alicia High, Assistant Health & Human Service Coordinator for the WIC Program, reported that her first reaction when she first heard about DV SCRIP was "We're going there?!" She felt a similar resistance from WIC program staff. But Alicia and other WIC staff have come to understand how DV SCRIP can contribute to their program - and how they can contribute to stopping domestic violence. Alicia underwent extensive training in domestic violence issues so she could offer WIC staff the expertise, technical assistance, and support they need when working on such a traumatic issue.

DV SCRIP has proven wildly popular with WIC staff. Carlene Pavlos reports that the Division of Violence and Injury Prevention (DVIP) "doesn't have to sell the importance of DV SCRIP to WIC anymore. WIC sees training about domestic violence as a priority and views DVIP as the partner that helps make it happen. Local WIC providers are banging on our door for training." In fact, the expansion of DV SCRIP to all WIC programs in Massachusetts was made possible through WIC financial support of a DV SCRIP training consultant. DVIP would like to move to a "train the trainer" format allowing WIC's own trainers to implement DV SCRIP as part of the standard WIC training for all staff.

DV SCRIP also proved popular with other MCH programs in Massachusetts. The demand from the Family Planning Program, for example, outstripped DVIP's training capacity. Fortunately, the Family Violence Prevention Fund, a nonprofit organization, offered a member of its staff as a DV SCRIP trainer for the Family Planning Program.

For more information about DV SCRIP, contact Beth Nagy, Domestic and Sexual Violence Integration Initiatives, at (617) 624-5420 or Beth.Nagy@state.ma.us.

Topics:
FamilyIntimate Partner Violence
South Carolina
Jun 2015

The number of traffic deaths involving teen drivers has dropped statewide, according to officials, and several local high school programs are cited as contributing factors.

The S.C. Department of Public Safety’s Office of Highway Safety said that while deaths are down in the state, there is a national increase.

In 2012, 13 drivers age 16 and 17 were killed on state highways compared with 29 in 2003.

Officials say several programs, in place in area high schools for several years, are paying off.

Click here for the news story from Independent Mail

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
New Hampshire
Jun 2015

Educating children about media violence is an important step toward reducing real-world violence.

That’s the message behind a new public-private partnership announced yesterday that will encourage media literacy in classrooms across the state. Media Power Youth, a Manchester-based nonprofit, has received $50,000 in state money to develop free curricula and teacher training and to develop youth programs in a handful of communities. Gov. Maggie Hassan announced the project alongside Deputy Attorney General Ann Rice, the commissioners of the departments of education and health and human services, U.S. Attorney John Kacavas and several other groups.

Click here for the news story from the Concord Monitor

Topics:
Youth Violence Prevention
Montana
Jun 2015

Firearms continue to be the primary means of suicide in Montana, constituting 66 percent of the suicides, well above the national average of 51 percent, according to a newly released state report.

Of the 23 youth, age 24 and younger, who killed themselves between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, at least 70 percent used a firearm.

“That single piece of information – that so many kids have access to lethal means – is alarming to me,” said Karl Rosston, Montana’s suicide prevention coordinator.

Some 33 percent of the female suicides in Montana were by firearm, slightly higher than the national average.

The takeaway, Rosston said, is that emphasizing the safe storage of firearms for those with children in the home or those exhibiting high-risk behavior, could be a deterrent.

At 16 percent, hanging is the second most common means of suicide, followed by overdose at 10 percent.

The findings are part of the first report prepared by the Montana Suicide Review team. The seven-member panel was appointed in 2013 by Gov. Steve Bullock to study causes behind the state’s suicide rate, which has been deemed a public health crisis.

Read the full article from the Missoulian

Read the report from DPHHS

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
Texas
Jun 2015

This combined cross-sectional/cohort study from Injury Prevention addressed research gaps by estimating the rate of non-fatal occupational injury and identifying potential determinants among a population of adolescent farmworkers who are largely Hispanic and migrant. The high observed rates of non-fatal injury combined with the potential negative consequences and cost of these injuries signifies a compelling need for injury prevention efforts targeting adolescent, Hispanic, farmworkers.

For the full abstract, click here.

Topics:
Rural Farm Safety
Tennessee
Jun 2015

he Tennessee Department of Health will begin requiring hospitals to report babies born with addictions Jan. 1 so it can better monitor a rising epidemic caused by mothers taking prescription narcotics.

Commissioners of several state agencies plan a formal announcement next month of a joint strategy to better address the problem, which is worse in the state’s Appalachian counties but on the rise in Middle and West Tennessee.

For the news story, click here.

To learn more, check out our archived webinar, "Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention among Teens and Young Adults: Reducing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Tennessee's Experience" here

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Tennessee
Jun 2015

The December 2011 suicide of Cheatham County teenager Jacob Rogers prompted an anti-bullying community push, which in turn spurred state lawmakers to toughen the state code and request better statewide data.

Tennessee's first statewide count of school bullying incidents found 5,478 cases last school year, shocking the lawmaker who asked for the study.

The Department of Education report turned up 7,555 reports of bullying. Investigations confirmed acts of bullying in 73 percent of reports.

Read the state reports:

Bullying Compliance Report

Bullying Compliance Report - Appendix

Click here for the news story from WBIR.com

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
Tennessee
Jun 2015

Tennessee is resurrecting a law that aims to address drug abuse among pregnant women – by charging new moms with crimes.

Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, signed a bill into law Tuesday that would allow charges to be brought against a new mother if her infant’s “addiction or harm is a result of her illegal use of a narcotic drug taken while pregnant.” Haslam called the measure a useful tool to address a growing drug epidemic.

Tennessee is now the first state in the country to explicitly allow prosecutors to criminally charge new mothers after seeing a ten-fold increase in the number of children born dependent on drugs and suffering symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), commonly associated with withdrawals. 

For years, the state locked up women who abused drugs while they were pregnant. But it didn’t work. Cases of NAS continued to skyrocket as Tennessee became a media poster-child for a drug epidemic. In 2013, health officials reported 855 cases of babies born addicted to drugs.

Click here for the full news story

Topics:
Prescription Drug Misuse Abuse
Tennessee
Jun 2015

From the CDC Core VIPP Monthly Update

The Tennessee Department of Health Injury Prevention Program announced the winner of the 2nd annual  Battle of the Belt (BOTB) competition, a statewide competition between high schools to increase seat belt use.  The overall winner of BOTB was Hixson High School who completed multiple educational events through their “P.A.W.S. for Life” (Prevent Accidents & Wear Seatbelts) program.  The Hixson High P.A.W.S program conducted the “THINKFAST” Interactive Awareness Program from the Governor’s Highway Safety Office; used car air freshener reminders to encourage seat belt use; conducted multiple buckle up announcements in during classes and at school events; and collected pledges to buckle up from school community members.  Older students also took a buckle up and proper booster seat message to younger students at the elementary school and have established a plan to continue the program.  Through BOTB, P.A.W.S. increased seatbelt use among school members 17%. The winner of the “Highest Increase in Seatbelt Use Award” went to Summertown High School who used local media to share their goals, spread seatbelt use messages at football games, sponsored a poster contest, and partnered with the Tennessee Highway Patrol to bring the Rollover Simulator to campus.  The students distributed handouts at basketball homecoming, conducted educational assemblies, made multiple reminder announcements to the student body, conducted seatbelt checks, and used the school sign to display the message “Buckle Up, Eagle Nation Needs You!”  Summertown saw a 40.37% increase in seatbelt use from fall to spring.  This was well above the average 9% increase among participating BOTB schools. Hats off to Hixson and Summertown High Schools! 

Topics:
Motor Vehicle
New Jersey
Jun 2015

An evaluation of the New Jersey Bike School program was undertaken using a convenience sample of participating children. A behavioral survey of bicycling behavior and pre-training and post-training tests were administered. There was significant improvement in pre-training and post-training test results (about 15% in both schools and summer camps). Those children that bicycled with their parents scored higher on the pre-training test and improved less in the post-training test. Questions on street positioning and intersection behavior were challenging for students, as well as for program evaluation.

Click here for the abstract from Accident Analysis & Prevention

Topics:
Bike Safety
Michigan
Jun 2015

A study shows that children in Michigan could be more at risk for injuries in the car than in the past.

An observation survey by the Wayne State University Transportation Research Group shows that fewer children are riding in car seats and booster seats in the state.

The study reports that the use of both car seats and booster seats is down nearly 2 percent since 2011, according to a press release from the Michigan State Police.

Click here for the news story from Fox

Click here for the study from the Wayne State University Transportation Research Group

Topics:
Child Passenger Safety
Michigan
Jun 2015

Unintentional poisonings from medicines cause more emergency room visits for young children each year than do car accidents. One key reason may be that nearly 1 of every 4 grandparents says that they store prescription medicines in easy-access ways, according to a new poll.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health recently asked parents and grandparents of children aged 1 to 5 years about the presence of medicines in their homes and how they are stored.

To read the full article, visit: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/medicines-stored-where-kids-can-reach

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Minnesota
Jun 2015

“We have more and more methadone-addicted babies in our community,” said Phil Norgaard, human services director of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, citing one of the many concerns raised during the 90-minute meeting. “We have the highest per-capita death rate for methadone (in Carlton County).”

The occasion was the first of three regional meetings hosted by state officials to present the Minnesota State Substance Abuse Strategy. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, who chaired the meeting, said Minnesota is the first state to come up with a statewide strategy to fight substance abuse.

For the news story, click here.

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Missouri
Jun 2015

Public health advocates in Missouri are taking their campaign against distracted driving to the public after failing to win support in Jefferson City for a ban on driver cellphone use.

The state already prohibits people younger than 21 from texting behind the wheel, but health advocates want to apply the ban to everyone.

To read the full article, visit: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/21/3505620/distracted-driving-campaign-goes.html#storylink=cp

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Montana
Jun 2015

Health risk behaviors, both car driving/riding related as well as others, are common among high school students in Montana. Unlicensed drivers tend to disclose health risk behaviors to a greater extent than their licensed driving and non-driving peers.  In general, male students more often reported health risk behaviors than females with small effect between the sexes on driving practice.

Click here to read the abstract of the study from Accident Analysis & Prevention

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Washington
Jun 2015

The Washington State Department of Health reported that recent analysis of drowning deaths in the state show that nearly half of the 100 annual average for drowning deaths occur in rivers and streams.

Snowmelt from mountains can cause unexpectedly chilly water temperatures, even at the height of summer. According to the DOH, "cold water can affect even strong swimmers' muscles and nervous system within 10 minutes, overriding strength and endurance."

The DOH cautions that common sense and situational awareness can avoid many of these issues. Whether wading, floating or swimming, unexpected objects like river debris or underwater drop-offs can cause even the strongest to succumb to the water.

The DOH notes that "the highest drowning numbers are among teenage and young adult males."

Click here for the news story

Topics:
Drowning Prevention
Michigan
Jun 2015

Sault Ste. Marie, MI

The service area of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians covers seven rural counties in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula. These counties have higher percentages of low-income populations than other places in the state. Limited infrastructure options often force residents who live in tribal housing to drive to local stores, schools, childcare, and employment, even though these resources are within walking or biking distance. Rising gas prices coupled with limited household incomes prompted the Sault Tribe Community Health Program, with support from the CDC’s Strategic Alliance for Health program, to explore infrastructure improvements that would support active transportation.

The Sault Tribe’s Strategic Alliance for Health Project staff and coalition members conducted walking audits in tribal housing, as well as the broader community. Pictures taken by community members illustrated the need for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. 

  • Organizations serving populations experiencing health inequities
  • Program evaluators
  • Public health agencies
  • Public Works Department
  • School districts, universities, and community colleges
  • Transit agencies
  • Transportation organizations
  • Zoning and Planning organizations

in educating community stakeholders about the need for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, resulting in construction of a sidewalk connecting tribal housing in one community to a major employment center. In another neighborhood, a need was identified for a midblock crossing near a childcare center to allow caregivers to take young children on walks during the day. The Strategic Alliance for Health Project also facilitated a partnership between tribal transportation planners and the City of St. Ignace to invest in sidewalk improvements that will connect housing to a nearby high school athletic field.

Key partnerships among tribal transportation planners, tribal housing authority, local government, and school systems fostered success. These partnerships were instrumental in implementing strategies that will support the creation of complete streets in five communities and in the seven-county region, focus on safe bicycle and pedestrian projects in the regional transportation plans, and address health and safety needs of all residents.

Read more stories in A Practitioner’s Guide for Advancing Health Equity from the CDC

 

Topics:
Rural Farm Safety
Michigan
Jun 2015

After local protests and several tragedies linked to "synthetic marijuana," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has announced he will sign into law a package of four bills that would ban K2, Spice and other synthetic drugs including "bath salts." The signing will take place Tuesday in Lansing.

Click here to read the article

Topics:
Underage Drinking Illicit Drug Abuse
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Each year, like in most big cities, hundreds of people in Boston are shot or stabbed. Survivors often return to the neighborhoods where the violence happened. And sometimes they end up victims again.

So some local hospitals, including Brigham and Women’s, are now treating urban violence like a disease. Rather than just patching up victims and sending them home, they’re treating gunshots and knife wounds as symptoms of a larger illness that can be managed — and maybe even cured — with the right treatment.

Click here to read the story or listen to audio of the story

Topics:
Youth Violence Prevention
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Smoking? Down. Drinking? Down. Bullying at school? Down.

Across area communities, high schoolers are engaging in risky behaviors in fewer and fewer numbers, according to the latest MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey out of Education Development Center (EDC). But climbing rates of cyberbullying — coupled with slight upticks in stress and mental health issues — have worried some administrators and youth health advocates.

Last fall, the MetroWest Health Foundation asked 24,459 students at 26 high schools and technical schools about their alcohol and drug consumption habits, as well as information about mental health, violence, sexual behavior, and bullying.

Highlights of the report were released in May, and local school districts have begun discussing their individual results this fall. A presentation was made to the Natick School Committee last week by Karen Rufo and Bob Anniballi, the respective head nurse and director of wellness for the town’s school district. For their talk, they broke down the district-specific and regional results of the survey.

High school students in 25 communities — from Franklin to Wellesley to Northborough — participated in the survey, which was conducted last October and November. All responses to the 40-minute survey were anonymous and voluntary, according to project manager Shari Kessel Schneider, and about 90 percent of the region’s students responded.

Click here for the news story from the Boston Globe

Topics:
Bullying Prevention, Underage Drinking Illicit Drug Abuse
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Child advocates and prosecutors in Middlesex County have revamped an online training program designed to help people who work with children to recognize and report suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Click here for the news article

Topics:
Child Maltreatment
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Aaron Deveau sent and received 193 text messages on Feb. 20, 2011, including some allegedly in the moments that the Haverhill teenager crossed into oncoming traffic and plowed head-on into another car, killing the driver and seriously injuring a passenger, prosecutors say.

Four of the texts, they say, were in a two-minute period just before impact.

On the opening day of the state’s first such texting-while-driving trial, prosecutors in Haverhill District Court laid out a case that depicts texting behind the wheel as deadly negligence with devastating consequences.

Click here to read the full article

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Data were collected from a sample of 1,878 adolescents living in 38 neighborhoods participating in the 2008 Boston Youth Survey. We used multilevel logistic regression models to estimate the association between neighborhood income inequality and attacking someone with a weapon, being attacked by someone with a weapon, being physically assaulted, being shown a gun by someone in the neighborhood, shot at by someone in the neighborhood, witnessing someone getting murdered in the past year, and having a close family member or friend murdered. Race and income inequality cross-level interactions were tested. Analyses were stratified by sex.

Among nonblack boys, after adjusting for nativity, age, neighborhood-level income, crime, disorder, and proportion of the neighborhood that is black, income inequality was associated with an increased risk for committing acts of aggression and being a victim of violence. Among nonblack girls, those living in neighborhoods with high-income inequality were more likely to witness someone die a violent death in the previous year, in comparison to those in more equal neighborhoods.

Income inequality appears to be related to aggression and victimization outcomes among nonblack adolescents living in Boston.

Click here for the full study from the Journal of Adolescent Health

Topics:
Youth Violence Prevention
Michigan
Jun 2015

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has developed a website to increase public awareness of the risks and potential harm associated with misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and to provide everyday steps individuals can take to address the issue in their families and communities. Do Your Part: Be the Solution is a multifaceted approach to addressing prescription drug misuse and abuse across Michigan.

Do Your Part: Be the Solution addresses the issue of prescription drug misuse and abuse using a multi-pronged approach including educating communities and the general public, providing guidance and resources to the medical community and other professionals, and linking to information on proper disposal to reduce the impact on the environment.

Read the full article from the Michigan Department of Community Health

View the Do Your Part: Be the Solution Campaign

Topics:
Prescription Drug Misuse Abuse
Delaware
Jun 2015

Can parents now be prosecuted in Delaware for spanking their children?

That's the concern of some critics of a new law aimed at strengthening prosecution of child abuse cases, which was signed Wednesday by Governor Markell.

But Attorney General Beau Biden tells WDEL that's not what this measure is about.

"This will not do anything to interfere with a parent's right or ability to parent as they see fit, but it also makes it clear that if you abuse a child in any way, shape or form, we're going to have a statute that we're going to be able to use to protect kids," says Biden

To read the full article, click here

Topics:
Child Maltreatment
Idaho
Jun 2015

The Governors Highway Safety Association commends Idaho for becoming the 37th state to enact a texting while driving ban. The distracted driving bill was signed into law by Governor Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter yesterday and goes into effect July 1 of this year.

To read the full article, visit: http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/pressreleases/2012/20120406_idaho.html

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Illinois
Jun 2015

Illinois was the first state to get a poison center about 60 years ago. In a few months, it could be the only state without poison control services.

The Illinois Poison Center answers thousands of calls from hospital professionals and concerned family members every year, trains hundreds of toxicology experts, and creates educational material on poison prevention and treatment.

State lawmakers are now pressed to increase the center's funding or watch its services disappear in late June.

The center's public funding, which includes money from the state and federal governments, fell by 40 percent between 2009 and 2013.

As a result, the center has had to cut back on educational outreach, reduce employee hours, and shed about 25 percent of its staff and consultants. Some of the cuts have resulted in longer wait times on the phone, officials said.

The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, which oversees the poison center's operations, has said it cannot continue to sustain the funding gap past June 30.

Click here for the news story

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Illinois
Jun 2015

In August 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation creating the VPTF to stem the epidemic of violence impacting today’s youth. The legislation was sponsored by State Representative LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) and State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), both of whom are members of the task force. The other members include: State Senator Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) and Pastor Corey B. Brooks, Sr. The VPTF also receives administrative and other support from the Illinois African American Family Commission and The Illinois Latino Family Commission.

Following are some additional anti-violence initiatives being carried out by the Administration:

  • Choose Respect Program: promotes healthy relationships among teens, prevents teen dating violence, and engages youths as leaders in teen relationship violence
  • Illinois Youth Recreation Corps: offers summer employment opportunities for youth with local government and not-for-profit entities, working and instructing in programs that provide recreational and conservation opportunities
  • Redeploy Illinois: assists youth at-risk of being sent to a correctional facility by offering assessment, case management, advocacy, education assistance, individual counseling, along with group, family, and substance abuse counseling/treatment, and home confinement
  • CeaseFire Program: engages high-risk individuals in 19 communities throughout Illinois with a goal to establish peaceful coexistence among rival groups, decrease group tensions, develop alternative strategies to violence around common violence triggers, and provide resources that highest-risk individuals can use to attain life skills that assist with alternatives to violence

Click here to read more on the Illinois Department of Public Health website

Topics:
Violence
Illinois
Jun 2015

In 2008, an estimated 37,700 children younger than 16 were treated in US emergency departments for nonfatal all-terrain vehicle (ATV) injuries. This study from Pediatric Emergency Care identifies safety guidelines and recommendations dealers convey to consumers at the point of sale. All-terrain vehicle dealers in Illinois recommend child-size vehicles, safety training, and helmet use for the majority of telephone inquiries. Injury prevention efforts targeting ATV dealers may be less needed than those using other populations.

Click here for the full abstract of the study

Topics:
Road Vehicles
Tennessee
Jun 2015

Over the last decade, rates of opioid pain reliever prescribing grew substantially in the United States, affecting many segments of the population, including pregnant women. Nationally, Tennessee ranks second in the rate of prescriptions written for opioid pain relievers, with 1.4 per person in 2012. The rising prevalence of opioid pain reliever use and misuse in Tennessee led to an increase in adverse outcomes in the state, including neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS is a withdrawal syndrome experienced by infants shortly after birth. The syndrome most commonly occurs after antenatal exposure to opioids, although other medications have also been implicated. From 2000 to 2009, the incidence rate of NAS in Tennessee increased from 0.7 to 5.1 per 1,000 births, exceeding the national average, which increased from 1.2 to 3.4 per 1,000 births. NAS is associated with numerous morbidities for the infant, including low birth weight, poor feeding, and respiratory problems. Previous population-based analyses of NAS relied on hospital discharge data, which typically become available for analysis only after substantial delay. In Tennessee, the rising incidence of NAS and its associated public health burden created an urgent need for timelier incidence figures to drive policy and prevention efforts. Beginning January 1, 2013, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) made NAS reporting mandatory. A total of 921 cases were reported in 2013 (among 79,954 births), with the most cases clustered in eastern Tennessee; 63% of cases occurred to mothers who were reported to be using at least one substance prescribed by a health care provider (e.g., opioid pain relievers or maintenance medications for opioid dependency), and 33% of cases occurred among women using illicit or diverted substances (e.g., heroin or medications prescribed for someone else). The first year's surveillance results highlight the need for primary prevention activities focused on reducing dependence/addiction among women of childbearing age and preventing unintended pregnancy among female opioid users.

Access the full study from the CDC

Learn more about Prescription Painkiller overdoses from the CDC

Topics:
Substance Abuse
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

The number of accidents involving newly licensed teenagers has dropped by half since Massachusetts raised the training requirements for young drivers and boosted penalties for teens who speed or commit other infractions.

That good news gives transportation officials ample reason to crow about the law’s impact. But state data reviewed by the Globe suggest the biggest reason for the drop in crashes may come as a surprise: It is that fewer teens are on the road — not just that teens are driving more carefully.

The number of 16- and 17-year-olds with a Massachusetts driver’s license has plunged by one-fourth since 2006, the year before the Legislature increased training requirements for drivers under 18, boosting the price and difficulty of driver’s education and persuading many teens to delay getting their licenses.

“When they are not driving they are not going to crash,” said Anne T. McCartt, senior vice president for research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which has long supported increasing the minimum age to get a driver’s license to at least 17.

Click here for the news story from The Boston Globe

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Indiana
Jun 2015

2013 law requires Indiana’s traditional public schools to begin collecting data on bullying incidents. While it is too early to assess bullying in Indiana based on the initial data, the findings were substantial. More than 9,000 bullying incidents were reported by Indiana's public schools for the 2013-2014 school year, according to statewide data released for the first time this week.

Of the 9,396 incidents reported, 44 percent were verbal incidents and 21 percent were physical. Other types of incidents, making up a smaller percentage, included written or electronic threats and social shunning at the lunch table or elsewhere.

For the full article, click here.

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
Indiana
Jun 2015

The cry of a baby in withdrawal isn't quite the same as the whimpers mothers are accustomed to when welcoming their bundle of joy.

These sounds aren't caused only by illegal "street drugs" used by the mother, but more often in recent years from prescription medications. And the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs by pregnant women -- whether intentional or unknowingly -- is on the rise in East Central Indiana.

Click here for the news story

Topics:
General Multiple Causes, Prescription Drug Misuse Abuse
Georgia
Jun 2015

A Georgia parent-teen driver education program has been selected for inclusion in a national publication highlighting innovative programs helping reduce crashes involving teen drivers.

The University of Georgia says the Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error, or PRIDE, program is one of five to be included in “Curbing Teen Driver Crashes: An In-Depth Look at State Novice Driver Initiatives.” The publication by the Governors Highway Safety Association includes a detailed look at what states are doing to address teen driver safety.

To learn more, click here.

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Virginia
Jun 2015

Heads Up Football, a national youth program aimed at teaching beginner-level kids a safer way to tackle in efforts to limit concussions and ease concerns of parents who question whether their children should play the game, is graduating to the high school level.

Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools, with 25 high school teams and about 3,300 players, has become the first school district in the USA to adopt Heads Up. The launch began Saturday at Annandale High School with a clinic to train 25 "player safety coaches."

One will be assigned to each of the county's high school teams for the 2013 season, and duties will include conducting clinics for coaches, players and parents. They'll be teaching the Heads Up tackling techniques that involve keeping the head to the side and away from contact.

Click here for the news story from USA Today

Topics:
Sports Safety, Traumatic Brain Injuries
Georgia
Jun 2015

Nearly a third of those dating in middle and high school report abusive relationships, according to a new study from the University of Georgia. The dating violence, which the researchers first measured in sixth grade, is a cycle that increases over time.

UGA professor Pamela Orpinas led the recent study, available in an early online edition of Journal of Youth and Adolescence, revealing that middle and high school students involved in physically violent romantic relationships consistently report violence across time and that they are likely to be both victims and offenders.

For the full press release, click here.

For the abstract from the Journal of Youth and Adolescenceclick here.

Topics:
Teen Dating Violence
Florida
Jun 2015

During 2003–2009, the number of deaths caused by drug overdose in Florida increased 61.0%, from 1,804 to 2,905, with especially large increases in deaths caused by the opioid pain reliever oxycodone and the benzodiazepine alprazolam (1). In response, Florida implemented various laws and enforcement actions as part of a comprehensive effort to reverse the trend. This report describes changes in overdose deaths for prescription and illicit drugs and changes in the prescribing of drugs frequently associated with these deaths in Florida after these policy changes. During 2010–2012, the number of drug overdose deaths decreased 16.7%, from 3,201 to 2,666, and the deaths per 100,000 persons decreased 17.7%, from 17.0 to 14.0. Death rates for prescription drugs overall decreased 23.2%, from 14.5 to 11.1 per 100,000 persons. The decline in the overdose deaths from oxycodone (52.1%) exceeded the decline for other opioid pain relievers, and the decline in deaths for alprazolam (35.6%) exceeded the decline for other benzodiazepines. Similar declines occurred in prescribing rates for these drugs during this period. The temporal association between the legislative and enforcement actions and the substantial declines in prescribing and overdose deaths, especially for drugs favored by pain clinics, suggests that the initiatives in Florida reduced prescription drug overdose fatalities.

Click here to read more from the CDC MMWR

Topics:
Prescription Drug Misuse Abuse
Delaware
Jun 2015

More than 100 families in Kent and Sussex counties have a young family member who attempted suicide earlier this year -- and who will need extra support from school, family and peers as they return to school in the coming days, experts say.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called on to investigate by alarmed state officials, found that 11 residents of those counties between the ages of 13 and 21 had taken their own lives in the first four months of the year. Investigators also identified 116 young people who they said attempted suicide during that period.

To read the news story, click here

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
United States
Jun 2015

Domestic Violence (DV) affects millions of individuals across the U.S. The law can help provide protection, however, the law treats same-sex couples differently in many states. This resource contains an interactive map. Click on the map for details about the coverage of DV laws, protection of DV laws and civil protective orders in every state and D.C.

Access the map here

Topics:
FamilyIntimate Partner Violence
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Background and aims: Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are the most common cause of death in the United States for adolescents. Since 1998, Massachusetts has implemented a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system requiring teenagers to gain experience under conditions of low crash risk before gaining full privileges.

Aims: To evaluate the impact of changes to strengthen Massachusetts’ GDL law on MVCs in 16-18 year olds, and to assess whether these effects persist into young adulthood.

Methods: Massachusetts MVC rates were analyzed for drivers aged 16-24 years during two time periods: 2002-2006, before the GDL law was strengthened, and 2007(fourth quarter)-2010, after implementation. Piecewise regression was performed to test whether the rate of change in crash rates by quarter was different for the two time periods, after controlling for age and sex of the driver.

Results: MVC rates for drivers aged 16-24 declined by 0.5% per quarter prior to implementation of changes to GDL in 2007, with an accelerated drop of 3.7% per quarter after 2007, a difference of 3.5% (p< 0.001). Results: showed a significant difference in hour of crash and age group of driver. For those 16-18, the percentage of crashes occurring between 12-5am dropped from 7.2% before 2007 to 6.3% after 2007 (p<0.001). For 19-24-year olds there was a similar decrease during those hours from 12.1% before 2007 to 11.2% after 2007.

Conclusions: Changes to the Massachusetts GDL law in 2007 to enhance driver education, as well as to enact stricter penalties for violations have contributed to a significant decline in crash rates for Massachusetts youth. These effects persist into young adulthood.

Click here to purchase the article from Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Illinois
Jun 2015

Although research investigating all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riders and ATV injury patterns has led to support for legislative and educational efforts to decrease injuries in users younger than 16 years, there is little published data regarding the utility of ATV safety education programs. This study investigates the effectiveness of a standardized adolescent ATV safety program in changing the safety knowledge and safe ATV riding practices reported by rural Central Illinois youths. The study found that this safety program was effective at increasing ATV safety knowledge but demonstrates limited effect on safe riding practices.

For the full abstract from the Journal of Primary Care & Community Healthclick here.

Topics:
Road Vehicles
New York
Jun 2015

A toddler from upstate New York could be the first child to die from liquid nicotine, the substance used in e-cigarettes, poisoning in the U.S., concerning health officials as e-cigarettes continue to rise in popularity.

Police reported that the 1-year-old child died after ingesting liquid nicotine at a home in Fort Plain, New York, on Tuesday. The child was found unresponsive and rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Fort Plain police released a statement saying the death is believed to be a “tragic accident.” They declined to say whether the liquid nicotine was associated with an e-cigarette.

But health officials are concerned if steps aren’t taken to protect children, they could see more fatal accidents similar to this one.

The rise of e-cigarettes and “vaping” in recent years has also meant a rise in the purchase of liquid nicotine. Coming in flavors like cotton candy or gummy bear, health officials say that the brightly colored liquid could appeal to young children.

"One teaspoon of liquid nicotine could be lethal to a child, and smaller amounts can cause severe illness, often requiring trips to the emergency department," the American Association of Poison Control centers in a statement today. "Despite the dangers these products pose to children, there are currently no standards set in place that require child-proof packaging."

Read the full article from ABC

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Florida
Jun 2015

From the Prevention Institute newsletter:

Almost two years ago, the horrendous killings of 20 first-graders and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut, shocked the nation. I, like everyone else, felt sickened, angry and frustrated at the tragic loss of innocent life. When I reviewed statistical data on violence, I realized that the focus on mass shootings was, in many ways, misplaced.

So begins an Op-ed from Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner that ran on Sunday in the Tampa Tribune.  Beckner went on to say that while mass shootings are unacceptable, the everyday assaults, shootings and acts of abuse in Hillsborough and communities across the country are “the daily drip of violence that fractures our community and corrodes our lives.”

In the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, Beckner and his fellow commissioners voted to set up a Violence Prevention Collaborative and to engage Prevention Institute to assist in its work. The Collaborative’s charge was to study patterns of violence in Hillsborough, look at the community conditions and risk factors that promote or discourage such violence and create a strategic plan to prevent and reduce it in the future.

For the past year, Prevention Institute staff worked with members of the Collaborative, sharing the experience we’ve gained helping cities from Salinas, California to New Orleans create their own strategic plans to prevent violence and shift the landscape so violence is seen as preventable. The Hillsborough collaborative brought together people from all sectors of the county, including the mayors and police departments of Tampa and other cities, the county sheriff, school board, courts, public defender's office and community- and faith-based organizations. The Collaborative members dug deep into the data, conducted a survey of county youth and developed a comprehensive set of recommendations. Prevention Institute staff members helped them at every stage, aiding the diverse members of the Collaborative interact and learn from each other, helping identify the data to be gathered and outlining the key elements of a prevention plan.

Yesterday, at a press conference, Commissioner Beckner and other members released Safe and Sound Hillsborough, the Collaborative’s strategic plan. The event drew extensive newspaper, radio and TV news coverage.

Now, said Robert Blount, president of Abe Brown Ministries and co-chair of the Collaborative’s faith-based organizations committee, the VPC must “move from the strategic planning phase to the tactical phase. We have our work cut out for us for the next five years to implement this plan.” We wish them the best of luck and we are confident that by embracing a coordinated, comprehensive approach to prevention, they, like so many other communities, can improve the safety and quality of life for residents.

To learn more about the Prevention Institute, click here.

Topics:
Violence
Florida
Jun 2015

Put it down. No text is worth a life. Don't text and drive — it's the law.

And Tampa Bay schools want students to know.

Across the region, schools are ramping up efforts to raise awareness about Florida's new texting-while-driving law and to educate one of the most at-risk demographics on the road — teenage drivers.

With the ban taking effect Tuesday, the outreach by schools will be key. Florida is going without a major campaign to alert the public about the law after Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a $1 million expenditure intended in part to help promote the ban.

Efforts to bring the public up to speed could be spotty, aside from digital billboards that will alert highway drivers to the change and Tuesday being officially named "Put It Down Day."

Click here for the news story from the Tampa Bay Times

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Florida
Jun 2015

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a constellation of physiologic and neurobehavioral signs exhibited by newborns exposed to addictive prescription or illicit drugs taken by a mother during pregnancy. The number of hospital discharges of newborns diagnosed with NAS has increased more than 10-fold (from 0.4 to 4.4 discharges per 1,000 live births) in Florida since 1995, far exceeding the three-fold increase observed nationally. In February 2014, the Florida Department of Health requested the assistance of CDC to 1) assess the accuracy and validity of using Florida's hospital inpatient discharge data, linked to birth and infant death certificates, as a means of NAS surveillance and 2) describe the characteristics of infants with NAS and their mothers. This report focuses only on objective two, describing maternal and infant characteristics in the 242 confirmed NAS cases identified in three Florida hospitals during a 2-year period (2010–2011). Infants with NAS experienced serious medical complications, with 97.1% being admitted to an intensive care unit, and had prolonged hospital stays, with a mean duration of 26.1 days. The findings of this investigation underscore the important public health problem of NAS and add to current knowledge on the characteristics of these mothers and infants. Effective June 2014, NAS is now a mandatory reportable condition in Florida. Interventions are also needed to 1) increase the number and use of community resources available to drug-abusing and drug-dependent women of reproductive age, 2) improve drug addiction counseling and rehabilitation referral and documentation policies, and 3) link women to these resources before or earlier in pregnancy.

For this study, six hospitals in two Florida counties with high numbers of NAS births were identified using Florida's hospital inpatient discharge data; of these, three hospitals were able to provide data needed for this investigation. Three data sources were used to identify infants with possible NAS: linked administrative data (Florida's linked hospital inpatient discharge, birth certificate, and infant death certificate data), data collected through neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission logs, and inpatient pharmacy data. The linked administrative data selection criteria were maternal residency in Florida, nonadoption status of the infant, and birth of the infant at one of the three participating hospitals during 2010–2011. Infants with an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) discharge diagnosis code of 779.5 (drug withdrawal syndrome in a newborn) or 760.72 (narcotics affecting fetus or newborn via placenta or breast milk) were considered to have possible NAS. NICU staff provided the investigation team with a list of infants admitted to the NICU for NAS treatment, based on documentation in NICU admission logs. Additionally, inpatient pharmacy dispensing data were used to identify infants treated with morphine, methadone, or clonidine during the 2-year period.

Access the full study from the CDC

Topics:
Substance Abuse
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Social workers will be routinely alerted to investigate all unexplained infant deaths in Massachusetts for signs of abuse and neglect, according to new state guidelines scheduled to go to police, firefighters, and hospital workers by the end of the year.

The recommendations are meant to improve investigations of deaths attributed to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, the leading cause of mortality among children between the ages of 1 month and 1 year in Massachusetts. They will also apply to other unexplained child deaths.

While police often alert the Department of Children and Families to unexplained deaths, the new guidelines are intended to assure that all infant deaths are reported to the agency. Emergency workers will be advised to notify DCF social workers whenever they encounter the unexplained death of a baby, according to Carlene Pavlos, a state Department of Public Health official.

The recommendations are part of a 55-page report recently released by the state Child Fatality Review Team, a group cochaired by the public health department and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Each year, dozens of Massachusetts children die suddenly and unexpectedly. In 2009 and 2010 combined, 90 infants under the age of 1 died, according to the report. Risk factors involve what are known as unsafe sleep conditions — such as putting children to sleep on their belly, sleeping with an adult, or with excessive bedding. Black non-Hispanic infants were three times as likely to die as white non-Hispanic babies between 2001 and 2010, the report says.

Read the full article from the Boston Globe

Topics:
Traumatic Brain Injuries, Child Maltreatment
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently released their annual report on injuries in the state for the year 2011.  Some highlights include:

  • Injury Costs:  Injury deaths of MA residents in 2011 were further associated with an estimated $3.3 billion in lifetime work loss costs.  In addition, MA residents incurred over $3 billion in charges at MA acute care hospitals for 795,523 injury-related hospital stays and ED visits in 2011.
  • Injury Rates among Males:  Males generally have higher injury rates than females.  In 2011, death rates for MA males compared to MA females were 5x higher for homicide (5.0 vs. 1.1 per 100,000), 3x higher for suicide (13.1 vs. 4.0 per 100,000), and 2x higher for unintentional injury deaths (42.1 vs. 19.6 per 100,000).
  • Traumatic Brain Injury:  Approximately one in four injury deaths (26%, 794 of 3,072) and one in ten injury-related hospital stays (10%, 7,770 of 74,361) involved a traumatic brain injury.
  • Motor Vehicle-related Deaths:  Motor vehicle crashes, including collisions with pedestrians, were the leading cause of unintentional injury death among MA youth and young adults ages 15-24.  Of these 91 deaths in 2011, 68 were MV-occupants (75%), 16 were pedestrians (18%) and 7 were motorcyclists (8%).

Find the full report here

Topics:
General Multiple Causes
Maryland
Jun 2015

On June 21, 2013, Maryland’s statewide ban on the sale of crib bumper pads will take effect.

The new policy was adopted by regulation of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) in November 2012 following 18 months of expert and public consultation.  Because crib bumper pads offer no meaningful benefit and pose potentially serious risks to infants, including suffocation and death, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health all advise against their use.

“Pediatricians in Maryland support the new ban on the sale of crib bumpers. Far too often in our state, healthy infants are dying in unsafe sleep positions,” said Dr. Scott Krugman, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and President of the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Bumpers offer no benefit to infants and may cause unnecessary deaths.”

"The ban on the sale of crib bumpers promotes safer sleep for infants, and safer sleep will mean fewer tragedies for Maryland families,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH.

The ban on the sale of crib bumper pads is part of an ongoing public health effort to educate parents about safe sleep practices for babies.  The Department is distributing over 200,000 cards and posters on safe sleep to WIC agencies and local health departments.  Free materials are also available to providers and can be ordered at 

http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/mch/sitepages/safe_sleep.aspx.  The key message of this effort is that babies sleep best alone, on their back and in a crib free of blankets, pillows, fluffy toys, crib bumpers, or stuffed animals.

Click here to read the full story from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Topics:
Safe Sleep
Maryland
Jun 2015

Tired, moody, irritable, short attention span. Sounds like the typical teenager, right?

Maybe, but these are also common concussion symptoms that can easily be mistaken for adolescent angst.

Last week, thousands of Montgomery County Public Schools high school student-athletes underwent mandatory baseline concussion testing for the first time, a major step forward in providing awareness and education and ensuring the safety of the county's athletes, said Dr. Michael R. Yochelson, the vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer for the MedStar National Rehabilitation Network.

In June, the Montgomery County Board of Education approved MCPS Superintendent Joshua P. Starr's proposal to provide baseline concussion testing at high schools countywide. MCPS entered into contracts with MedStar, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, ATI Physical Therapy and Metro Orthopedics and Sports Therapy to administer the testing.

Click here for the news story from Gazette.net

Topics:
Sports Safety, Traumatic Brain Injuries
Maryland
Jun 2015

In the last month, some Montgomery County students have made threats to school safety, harassed their principals and teachers, made racial comments and bullied their peers — yet some of them have gone unpunished.

Principals, parents and police say they can do only so much when the comments are being made anonymously on Twitter.

Following a nationwide trend, students in Montgomery County Public Schools have created anonymous Twitter accounts to post thoughts about their schools and classmates. Many tell their peers to send them comments they want posted on their page through a profile they create on another social media site, such as Ask.fm.

It’s one of the newest outlets students are using to cyberbully, or harass one another electronically. Cyberbullying is a concern nationwide; Maryland just passed a law making cyberbullying a crime.

Click here to read the news story

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Massachusetts had the lowest rate in the nation for pediatric injury deaths in 2009: 4 deaths per 100,000 children up to age 19.

That compares with a national average of 11 deaths per 100,000, with the worst state, Mississippi, having a death rate of 25 per 100,000 -- more than six times the rate of Massachusetts. The findings were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“More than 5,000 children’s lives would have been saved in 2009 if the lowest state death rate had been achieved nationally,” Ileana Arias, principal deputy director of the CDC, said during an afternoon press briefing. While it’s tough to pinpoint exactly what Massachusetts is doing right, Arias said the state has established a “record over time of being cognizant of injury prevention and investing in programs and policies to address safety,” such as safe driving laws. 

To read the full article, visit: http://www.boston.com/Boston/dailydose/2012/04/massachusetts-leads-nation-with-lowest-rate-accidental-deaths-children/XZRjlg6QeGA7GtrOEgtoQM/index.htm

Topics:
General Multiple Causes
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Students across Massachusetts suffered more than 4,400 concussions or other head injuries while playing school sports during the last school year, according to surveys submitted to the state by about 360 public and private schools.

The most head injuries were reported by large schools with robust sports programs. Boston College High School, an all-boys private school in Dorchester for grades 7 through 12, cited 63 head injuries, followed by Needham High with 58 and Andover High with 55.

“I don’t feel that we’re higher than anywhere else; I feel that we are just really conscientious and meticulous about our reporting,” said Theresa Hartel, BC High’s school nurse. “I have a hard time understanding how really big schools that have a lot of sports are not reporting concussions.”

The reports, released to the Globe by the state Department of Public Health under a public records request, come as high schools are wrapping up their football seasons, which for many schools produce the most injuries.

Click here for the news story from The Boston Globe

Topics:
Sports Safety, Traumatic Brain Injuries
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

In theory, domestic homicide should be easy to prevent, since men who kill their wives or girlfriends (85 percent of victims are female) generally give us lots of warning by beating, stalking, and even raping their victims, usually for years before they finally kill. In reality, it's surprisingly hard to stop someone who really wants to murder you, especially if he has easy access to a gun. Restraining orders don't create a magic force field around the victim. Shelters help, but they are underfunded and depend on the victim giving up substantial rights to hold a job (which gives the abuser the ability to find you), have a social life, or even speak to family members. And trying to figure out which abusers are just run-of-the-mill woman batterers and which will actually kill is surprisingly hard to do.

Rachel Louise Snyder, writing for the New Yorker, details one solution that's being implemented in Massachusetts. Domestic violence social workers there developed a high-risk assessment team that, using statistical methods and employing the court system in creative ways, has figured out a way to target the men most likely to kill and take special care to make it that much harder for them to do so. Kelly Dunne started the Domestic Violence High Risk Team in 2005, and since then, not a single case she's taken on has ended in murder, and the men who have been sentenced to GPS tracking have not committed any future acts of violence.

How do they do it? They take the details of each reported case of abuse, looking at risk factors such as stalking and chronic unemployment, and rate each abuser on a point system for how violent and controlling he is. Men who are rated high are then subject to heightened risk monitoring, and their victims are given extra resources to stay safe. If the abusers start acting up, they can have their child visitations terminated or be made to wear GPS trackers. They may even be put in jail or in a psychiatric hospital for violating probation or restraining orders—courtesy of a preventive detention program that was mostly used to prevent gang or drug violence in the past, a program that gives the government leeway to restrain you even if your behavior otherwise falls short of the threshold to charge you with further crimes.

Click here to read the full news story from Slate

Topics:
FamilyIntimate Partner Violence, Teen Dating Violence
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

EDC’s Gary Langis has made it his mission to reduce heroin deaths in Massachusetts. But for much of the past two decades, attitudes toward addiction and abuse have been as much an obstacle to this goal as the drug itself.

Few people wanted to admit that heroin could be present in their community. Law enforcement often dealt with addiction through incarceration. Public health campaigns were more likely to focus on less stigmatized issues, such as reducing teen alcohol abuse.

But in 2005, the number of fatalities in Massachusetts due to opioid overdoses eclipsed the number caused by motor vehicle accidents for the first time, thrusting the issue into the public eye. And as the state’s opioid abuse crisis deepened, Langis noticed a shift in attitude: law enforcement personnel were asking him more about prevention than punishment.

Read the story from EDC

Topics:
Underage Drinking Illicit Drug Abuse
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

A suicide has a far-reaching effect on a community, and Marshfield and Scituate are moving forward in looking for ways to prevent suicides, and to offer support and assistance to those at risk, and their families and friends.

Last week Representative Cantwell brought together community leaders from Scituate and Marshfield, including the police chiefs and school superintendents from both towns, as well as members of the clergy, healthcare workers, educators, students, and those who have survived the death of a loved one from suicide, to a public forum to discuss what can be done to raise awareness about what services and resources are available.

Another goal of the meeting was to discuss forming a Suicide Prevention Coalition with the two towns.

“I was very pleased to see that we already have over a dozen people wanting to volunteer to help create this coalition,” Cantwell said, who added that the idea for organizing the meeting came about because he had attended a few wakes over the past few months of people who had committed suicide.

A panel of speakers who are involved with suicide prevention organizations/programs was on-hand to discuss the facts about suicide, and what can be and is being done to prevent suicides.  They also discussed outreach programs for loved ones, and how a community can come together to provide support and information for those struggling with mental health issues, or those who know someone who might be at risk.

Alan Holmlund, Director of the Suicide Prevention Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; Rebekah Hunt,  ICRC-S Training and Technical Assistance Associate and Prevention Specialist with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center; and Jim McCauley, Associate Director of the Riverside Trauma Center, each gave presentations and were available to answer questions.

Click here for the news story from Marshfield, Massachusetts

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) was associated with a significant decrease in opioid overdose death rates, according to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal.   

The report evaluated the impact of state-supported OEND programs that were run between 2006 and 2009 in 19 communities in Massachusetts.

The report evaluated the impact of state supported (OEND) programs between 2006 and 2009 in 19 communities in Massachusetts with high numbers of opioid overdose deaths.   The study found that communities with low levels of (OEND) training had 27% lower opioid overdose deaths compared to communities with no training.  Communities with high levels of (OEND) training had 46% lower opioid overdose death rates compared to communities with no training. 

OEND is an innovative, community-based intervention program that trains individuals to prevent, recognize, and respond to an overdose emergency. The program equips both people at risk for overdose and potential bystanders with nasal naloxone rescue kits. Naloxone reverses the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. 

The study, funded by CDC’s Injury Center, was led by the Boston Medical Center, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  

For an online version of this study (free), visit: http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f174

For more information on CDC’s work to prevent prescription painkiller overdoses, visit:www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Poisoning  

Topics:
Prescription Drug Misuse Abuse
Washington
Jun 2015

Marijuana exposure incidents, or 'pot poisonings,' have spiked in Washington state, especially among teenagers, in a trend experts said on Tuesday appears to be linked to the state's largely unregulated medical marijuana industry.

Marijuana exposures are defined as any situation where an adult or child suffers an adverse reaction to the consumption of marijuana, such as increased heart rate, paranoia or stomach illness, according to the Washington Poison Center.

Some 210 marijuana exposures were reported in the first nine months of the year, more than in all of 2013, according to Washington Poison Center Clinical Managing Director Alexander Garrard.

Read the full article from Reuters

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Maine
Jun 2015

Starting August 30th, people caught texting while driving will be facing stiffer fines in Maine. The fine is going up from $100 to $250. One person hoping this change will finally make a difference in curbing the amount of distracted driving of all kinds is Judy Bouchard. Her daughter, Heather, was killed in an accident 4 years ago with a NEWS CENTER live truck.

Click here for the news story

Topics:
Traffic Injuries
Wisconsin
Jun 2015

The Alliance leads the Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin program in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Maternal and Child Health, Title V Program. Keeping Kids Alive is comprised of child death review (CDR) and fetal infant mortality review (FIMR) teams in each county or region. The teams are multidisciplinary and prevention focused. Both types of teams share information learned from their review processes to improve the health and safety of communities. Learn more about both teamsLearn more about the history of CDR and FIMR. The Alliance has released a new video.

Click here to read more about the Alliance and to see the new video

Topics:
General Multiple Causes
West Virginia
Jun 2015

West Virginia's Office of Maternal, Child, and Family Health's Adolescent Health Initiative is furthering its mission to promote physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual well-being for children and youth while also addressing injury prevention challenges identified by that state's Title V. Block Grant Needs Assessment.

The Adolescent Health Initiative (AHI) is a network of adolescent health coordinators, each of whom is responsible for developing programs and providing training and technical assistance to schools, health care professionals, and community-based organizations in a specific state public health region. These 8 coordinators are funded by the Office of Maternal, Child, and Family Health (OFCFH), West Virginia's Title V agency. The adolescent health coordinators employ the Search Institute's Developmental Assets framework, which encompass both external assets (positive experiences youth receive from their environment) and internal assets (characteristics and behaviors of the young people themselves).

While reviewing their 2005 Title V. Block Grant Needs Assessment, AHI Director Patricia Snodgrass and her OFCFH colleagues discovered several critical injury prevention needs. These included preventing alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities to children and adolescents, increasing adolescent seat belt use, and reducing the number of unintentional injury fatalities to people under the age of 24 years. They also recognized that the adolescent health coordinators were well-positioned to affect these problems, given that many of them were already engaged in some injury prevention activities and all were already working with partners who could contribute to effective injury prevention. Thus, in 2006, an objective requiring the adolescent health coordinators to "collaborate with other regional network partners to educate and inform youth and parents about unintentional injury, drinking, [and] use of seatbelts" was added to their funding grants.

The activities adolescent health coordinators employ to meet this objective is based upon the needs and opportunities available in each region. They include the SOBER Obstacle Course Driving Program, campaigns to prevent traumatic brain injury by promoting bicycle and ATV helmet use, fire safety, and bullying prevention. Partners in these efforts include police and fire departments, Safe Kids, poison prevention centers, EMS agencies, school districts, and the highway department.

Nancy Ancell is the adolescent health coordinator for Region 5, which includes 8 counties. She reports that the AHI grant's injury prevention objective provides an opportunity to broaden her focus and deepen her injury prevention work. Ancell involves a broad range of partners in the bicycle rodeos, safety fairs, and other events she organizes. These include police and fire departments, schools, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, State Farm Insurance, and DuPont. Many of these partners supply volunteers who work at these events. Nancy says that, in addition to preventing injuries, providing opportunities for children and adolescents to interact with police officers and other adults in a non-threatening atmosphere helps build several developmental assets, including supportive adults and environments and safety.

For more information on the Adolescent Health Network, contact Patricia Snodgrass at 304-558-4930 orpattysnodgrass@wvdhhr.org or see the Adolescent Health Institute Home Page (http://www.wvdhhr.org/ahi/)

Topics:
General Multiple Causes
Hawaii
Jun 2015

The Hui Makuakane Father Support Program was an innovative effort in which Father Facilitators provided home-based support services—with an emphasis on father-child involvement—to families with young children.

Hui Makuakane (Fathers’ Group) began in 1997 with support from the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund to Parents and Children Together (PACT), a nonprofit agency. In 2001, with support from the State of Hawaii Department of Health and Maternal and Health Branch, Hui Makuakane was incorporated into Hana Like, a Healthy Start Home Visitor Program, also operated by PACT. The Healthy Start model uses a hospital-based screening process to identify families whose children are at risk of child abuse and other adverse health outcomes. Trained home visitors help parents enhance their parenting skills and utilize services that improve family life as well as reduce the risk of child maltreatment.

Hana Like serves low-income families in urban neighborhoods and public housing projects in Honolulu. Hui Makuakane was developed in response to a need to fully engage fathers in the program. Greg Fartrup, a PACT staff member and Hui Makuakane Father Facilitator, said that the fact that the home visitors were women led some of the fathers in Hana Like families to assume that the activities being promoted by the program were the responsibilities of the mother. When Father Facilitators were added to the Hana Like teams, fathers were more likely to get and stay involved with the program and with their children. The fathers were also more likely to actively adopt activities – such as getting down on the floor and playing with infants – when the activities were modeled by a man.

Hui Makuakane provided specialized support services to fathers to help them:

  • fully participate in Hana Like activities;
  • improve their understanding of child development;
  • increase the time they spend caring for and playing with their children; and
  • learn how to set limits for their children and use positive disciplinary techniques to enforce these limits.

Father Facilitators also help participating fathers set and reach educational and vocational goals, refer them to other community resources when necessary and engage fathers and children in group outings to family-oriented recreational and educational activities.

Hui Makuakane increased fathers’ participation in the Hana Like Program. Hawaii has experienced a reduction in revenues available to support excellent programs like Hui Makuakane. The program will continue to function at a reduced level with efforts to increase funding through the use of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) appropriation.

For more information on Hui Makuakane, contact Greg Farstrup at 808-841-2245. hlgfarstrup@pacthawaii.org.

For additional information on Healthy Start programs in Hawaii, we recommend the following CSN publication: An MCH Approach to Preventing Child Maltreatment.

Topics:
Child Maltreatment
Iowa
Jun 2015

Keeping Kids Safe: the Iowa Child and Youth Injury Prevention Conference began with a vision that Kathy Leggett Director of the Center for Advocacy and Outreach and the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Des Moines, shared with other injury prevention professionals. Lisa Roth, Injury Free Coalition for Kids Coordinator, explained that

We wanted to create an opportunity for people in Iowa to be able to hear national injury prevention experts speak without having to travel out of state to attend a national conference. We approached the EMC Insurance Company (which insures 90 percent of Iowa's schools) and asked them to provide corporate sponsorship. We also recruited the Iowa Safe Kids Coalition, the Injury Prevention Research Center at the University of Iowa, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and other sponsors.

Keeping Kids Safe is held annually at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, home of both the Center for Advocacy and Outreach and the Injury Free Coalition for Kids. The event was designed to be affordable. It is limited to a single day so attendees do not have to stay overnight in a hotel. The registration fee is a minimal $25 to cover the cost of lunch and refreshments. The bulk of costs are covered by EMC and other sponsors. Lisa Roth reports that

As a children's hospital, we think it is important to help communities develop injury prevention programs. The conference agenda is driven by the audience. Every year we do an evaluation and use the results to plan the following year's event. The first conference was very data heavy. Over the next several conferences we tried to give participants tools they can use - on funding, the media, coalition building, and successful injury prevention initiatives. Last year was an opportunity to address intentional injuries. We provided information on suicide and injury related to methamphetamine use. We have also done a simulation on emergency preparedness for schools and helped participants begin to develop an emergency preparedness plan for their schools.

Keeping Kids Safe typically attracts 100-150 participants, including physicians, injury prevention advocates, school nurses, and people representing emergency medical services, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and schools of public health. According to Lisa Roth, the conference is also an opportunity to educate decision-makers about injury prevention. She reports that

We always invite legislators. It is good to put injury in front of the legislators, so when a child passenger safety or bicycle helmet bill is being considered, they understand the basics of injury prevention - and who to call for more information. We also invite the heads of state agencies. Last year, the Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, as well as representatives from the departments of transportation and public health, attended.

A unique aspect of Keeping Kids Safe is its evening session for child care providers. Evening sessions - complete with dinner - and the opportunity to hear a national speaker while receiving safety training are very appealing to this audience. This is especially true of people who provide in-home day care and do not have the training opportunities that larger day care centers provide to their staff. These two hour workshops usually attract up to 100 participants. Child Care Resource and Referral of Iowa, a state child care organization, co-sponsors the evening sessions and helps choose workshop topics and recruit child care providers for the conference.

Lisa Roth is pleased about how Keeping Kids Safe has been received, explaining that

the conference has helped bring injury prevention to the forefront and helped us look at injury in a more comprehensive manner. We encourage injury prevention efforts to be more data driven. And we bring people together so we can be united in addressing injury in Iowa.

The 5th annual Keeping Kids Safe conference will be held on September 12, 2006.

For more information, contact Lisa Roth at 515-241-3244 or rothlm@ihs.org.

Topics:
Road Vehicles
Iowa
Jun 2015

Since 2002, records show that more than 200 ATV crashes occur each year in Iowa. Most of these crashes result in injuries serious enough to require emergency treatment in Iowa’s trauma centers. Head injuries are the most common type of injury and the leading cause of death in ATV crashes. Currently the state of Iowa has no helmet laws, and helmet use overall is relatively low in Iowa as in other states. Consistent use of helmets could reduce ATV-related deaths by an estimated 40 percent or more and non-fatal head injuries by over 60%.

With no formal state or national programs focused on ATV safety, the UI Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Department Store established the ATV injury prevention program to fill this vacuum.

For more information on the program, click here.

To download the ATV Toolkitclick here.

To take the pledge to ride safe, click here.

For a local news article on the program, click here.

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Iowa
Jun 2015

Sexual violence is a serious and costly public health problem. Current research that systematically documents the broad range of economic costs of sexual violence is lacking. To estimate the incidence and costs of sexual violence in Iowa in 2009, researchers obtained data from population surveys, six Iowa government agencies, and other sources.

In 2009, an estimated 55,340 individuals experienced sexual violence in Iowa, including 49,510 adults and 5,930 children. Nearly three of every four victims were women. The estimated total cost of sexual violence in 2009 was $4.7 billion, equating to $1,580 per resident. This estimate included $4.44 billion in indirect costs and $265 million in direct costs. In the same year, the government spent an estimated $100.6 million as a result of sexual violence in Iowa, more than half of which ($55.3 million) was spent on perpetrators and little ($0.9 million) on prevention.

The study concluded that the economic costs of sexual violence are high for individuals and society. Cost information can help identify the burden of sexual violence relative to other social problems in Iowa and prioritize funding for prevention and intervention.

To view the study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, click here

Topics:
FamilyIntimate Partner Violence
Kentucky
Jun 2015

In 2010, legislation was passed in Kentucky that mandated the dissemination of suicide information to teachers and students. Middle and high school teachers are required to do at least two hours of self-taught study before passing the information to their students. It must be given to the students before Sept. 1 of each school year.

To read the news story, click here.

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
Kentucky
Jun 2015

Louisville is taking a proactive approach to preventing multiple concussions: Mixed martial arts helmets.

Looking to protect players who’ve had previous concussions, Cardinals trainer Fred Hina came up with the idea of having them wear the padded helmets in practice. Wearing a black lid that looks like a cross between a skateboard and motocross helmet may look a little odd, but if it helps keep the players on the floor, no one seems to mind.

To read the full article, visit: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/tournament/2012/story/_/id/7725403/louisville-protecting-players-practice-mma-helmets

Topics:
Sports Safety, Traumatic Brain Injuries
Kentucky
Jun 2015

The state’s maternal and child health leaders are working together to address the rising number of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, the condition caused by exposure to narcotics during pregnancy. The initiative, from the Kentucky Perinatal Quality Collaborative, brings together representatives from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Kentucky Perinatal Association and the March of Dimes, among others.

“This is an extremely important public health issue and one that deserves our attention. If we, as policymakers and health care professionals, are serious about improving the collective health of our state, we must be committed to ensuring our most vulnerable citizens – Kentucky’s infants – are getting the healthiest start to life possible,” said Stephanie Mayfield, M.D., commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “We must begin the discussion of substance abuse prevalence and the rise in substance exposed newborns and continue down the path to solving this problem.”

Click here to read more from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Connecticut
Jun 2015

he Connecticut Department of Public Health and its partners in the Connecticut Young Worker Safety Team are addressing the often-overlooked problem of injuries to working teens. The Connecticut Young Worker Safety Team includes representatives from the Connecticut Departments of Education, Labor, and Health, local offices of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Capitol Region Education Council, Middletown Health Department and other local organizations concerned with workforce development, education, and public health.

Members of the Young Worker Safety Team are training teachers, school-to-work staff, job training instructors, and other adults who work with teens to use Work Safe! - a curriculum that teaches teens to identify and control workplace hazards and to assert their rights to safe and legal working conditions. Team members learned to use this curriculum from staff of the Young Worker Safety Resource Center at Education Development Center (also the home of the Children's Safety Network).

The Connecticut Department of Education's professional development provider (a member of the team) offers four, three-hour Work Safe! Train-the-Trainer sessions each year. Young Worker Safety Team members regularly provide presentations on young worker safety issues - including an overview of Work Safe! - at conferences, meetings, and schools. Audiences for these presentations include career and technical education professionals, school counselors, workforce board staff, youth employment programs, School To Career and work-based learning coordinators, health educators, and teens. Young worker safety workshops have become a regular feature at several annual conferences. The Young Worker Safety Team's goal is to institutionalize young worker safety training in as many settings as possible.

Thanks to the work of the team and its members, three of Connecticut's five regional workforce development boards require their state-funded youth employment programs to include young worker safety education in all job training. The Connecticut Department of Education (SDE) requires that school districts with work-based learning programs address the delivery of young worker safety training in their grant applications. The Young Worker Safety Team has also commissioned an analysis of workers compensation data. The Connecticut Departments of Education and Labor are collaborating on an electronic working paper database that will track the number of young workers and where they work. These data will be used to target future young worker safety activities.

For more information on the Connecticut Young Worker Safety Team, contact Marian Storch at the Injury Prevention Program, Connecticut Department of Public Health: (860) 509-7791 or marian.storch@po.state.ct.us or Judi Andrews Connecticut State Department of Education (860) 713-6766 or Judith.Andrews@po.state.ct.us

Work Safe! is now available in a revised version called Youth@Work: Talking Safety. For more information about Youth@Work and other resources for preventing occupational injuries to teens, contact Chris Miara at 617-618-2238 orcmiara@edc.org.

Topics:
Young Worker Safety
Connecticut
Jun 2015

In 2010, a study in Pediatrics showed that 375,000 youths are sent to the emergency room each year due to basketball-related injuries. Although the total number of injuries declined over a 10-year period, the report highlighted a 70 percent increase in traumatic brain injuries on the court. Just this past December, a Seton Hall college basketball player was hospitalized for a few days when he was fouled and came down on the left side of his head.

To help protect their players, the University of New Haven men's basketball team is turning to technology. During practice, players wear Triax head sensors that are small enough to be slipped into a headband. The sensors track the g-force of a hit to the head, which can cause jarring movement of the brain inside the skull.

The data is then sent wirelessly in real-time to computer software that compiles the findings. Athletic trainers can then see which player just got hit in the head and how hard the hit was. They can track how hard and how many times that player sustained a head injury during that practice, the season, or even the course of their sports career.

Click here for the news story from CBS News

Click here for the 2010 study from Pediatrics

Topics:
Sports Safety, Traumatic Brain Injuries
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan will host a suicide prevention program aimed at teaching school employees how to more readily identify potentially suicidal adolescents and how to get them help. “Lifelines,” a four-part program is a whole-school approach to suicide prevention that involves students, school personnel, and parents.

To view this article published by The Boston Globeclick here

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
Louisiana
Jun 2015

Louisiana has become the 17th state to pass a law requiring all high school students to take CPR training, adding to the more than 1 million graduates who will be equipped with this lifesaving skill every year.

The legislation was passed unanimously by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday. It takes effect in the 2014-2015 school year.

“Too few people in our community are trained in CPR to respond in these emergency situations. But this law will change that,” said Kay Eddleman, volunteer chair of the American Heart Association’s Louisiana Advocacy Committee.

Louisiana had a law in place that required that CPR be taught, but not a practice requirement that went along with it, said Coletta Barrett, R.N., vice president of mission for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Click here for the blog post from the American Heart Association

Topics:
Choking Strangulation, General Multiple Causes
Ohio
Jun 2015

There's fresh evidence that opiate painkillers are slowly losing their stranglehold on Ohio: More than 200,000 fewer patients were prescribed dangerously high levels of addictive drugs last year compared with 2010.

New reports from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, through the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, mean physicians “can look at one number and have a clear understanding of how vulnerable their patients are to an overdose situation,” said Orman Hall, head of Governor John Kasich’s opiate-action team.

Those reports show that last year, 326,111 Ohioans were red-flagged for being prescribed high levels of narcotic painkillers. That was a nearly 41 percent drop from the 549,519 patients who received high doses in 2010, Hall said.

Ohio physicians recently began receiving new Practice Insight Reports, which list their top 25 patients in terms of drugs prescribed, patients ranked by the amount of opiates prescribed, and the top 10 drugs they prescribe.

The voluntary state guidelines that spurred the reports took effect Jan. 1. A total of 44 organizations — representing physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and a host of regulatory boards and professional associations — collaborated with the Kasich administration on the guidelines. The goal is to help make doctors, dentists and clinicians more aware of the massive amount of narcotic painkillers prescribed — a 600 percent spike in the past decade — and the sometimes-deadly results.

An Ohioan died every five hours from a drug overdose in 2011, the most-recent year for which statistics are available, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The majority were pill deaths.

Click here to read the full news story from the Columbus Dispatch

Topics:
Prescription Drug Misuse Abuse
Connecticut
Jun 2015

As schools wrestle with how best to combat bullying in the age of social media, and in the wake of a Stamford 12-year-old's arrest this week in a bullying case, administrators and law enforcement are struggling to define and track the often elusive problem.

"I think it's great that our society is finally taking this seriously, but we need to look at these situations that are very complex," said Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, education director for the Anti-Defamation League's Connecticut chapter.

A Courant review of state education records shows that more than 1,250 incidents of school bullying were reported to the state from 2005 to 2012. The state's largest cities — Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven — reported the most incidents in the period, with Hartford reporting 91 verified incidents, the state's statistics indicate.

The Stamford girl was charged with disorderly conduct on Tuesday for repeatedly bullying another student at the private middle school they both attended, police said. The school, Trailblazers Academy, said on Thursday that it was a case of a friendship gone bad and a failure to "communicate clearly about their differences."

Lipshez-Shapiro said that she has been working to find solutions to bullying for more than 20 years and that the culture has made great strides in that time.

"In 1995, I started a program called 'Names Can Really Hurt Us,'" she said. "When I started it, I couldn't find one book on bullying. Literally, I went all over New York City and there was nothing. ... Flash forward to now, when there's probably 8,000-plus books on bullying, so it's really changed in terms of society's recognition on this issue in a really dramatic way."

In order to combat bullying, educators, parents, and students, "need to be prepared with information so their talk about it is informed and not just operating out of anger and fear," she added.

Lipshez-Shapiro said that the Anti-Defamation League's programs identify four roles involved in bullying, which children often fluctuate between as they try out different identities and make their way through the fraught social landscape.

"There is the target, and we don't use the word 'victim' because we feel that implies helplessness; the bystander; the sort of perpetrator or aggressor; and finally, the ally," Lipshez-Shapiro said. "ADL's philosophy is we want to empower targets so they know how to respond effectively, we want to teach empathy to perpatrators, and we want to challenge the bystanders to become allies."

Click here for the news story from The Courant

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
Colorado
Jun 2015

A Colorado state panel set up to review the health effects of marijuana warned citizens about the dangers of using the drug during pregnancy, while driving and during adolescence and young adulthood.

The report, which was commissioned by the state legislature to clarify sometimes contradictory health information about marijuana, also found preliminary evidence to suggest that legalization in the state had resulted in increased hospitalizations, emergency room visits and poison center calls possibly related to marijuana.

“The committee’s work represents one of the first and most comprehensive reviews to assess the strength of credible scientific literature available today regarding marijuana use,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, the Executive Director and Chief Medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Read the article from Time Magazine

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety, Underage Drinking Illicit Drug Abuse
United States
Jun 2015

This chart from the Network for Public Health Law (NHPL) compiles anti-bullying legislation by state into a table. 

Click here for the 50 State Compilation

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
Tennessee
Jun 2015

Trauma registries capture data about injuries that can be used to objectively guide injury prevention initiatives. This article analyzes trauma registry data to describe the nature and distribution of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) injuries in Middle Tennessee. A community injury prevention effort, based on this analysis, is also presented. ATV injuries were more prevalent among boys than girls (66% vs. 34%; p < 0.001). Approximately 64% of the ATV injuries were in the age group 10 years to 15 years. Most injuries were either moderately severe (44%) or severe (30%). Injury mechanism varied by age; younger children experienced more rollovers while older children tended to be injured from ejections (p < 0.05). Helmet use was low (33%). Data from this study suggest that helmet use resulted in fewer injuries to the head, neck, and face. Counties with high rates of ATV injuries were targeted for ATV training programs. 4-H agents trained by the ATV Safety Institute provided ATV training classes.

To read the full abstract or purchase the article, click here.

Topics:
Road Vehicles
Connecticut
Jun 2015

The number of Connecticut infants who died between 2001 and 2013 where unsafe sleep conditions were present was almost three times the number of infants who died from child abuse.

Each year infants die unnecessarily in Connecticut. This Public Health Alert outlines the tragedy of infant fatalities associated with unsafe sleep conditions and makes recommendations for prevention.

Click here to read more from the Office of the Child Advocate and the Connecticut Child Fatality Review Panel

Topics:
Safe Sleep
Alaska
Jun 2015

A heart-wrenching number of Alaska Native children witness domestic or sexual violence, and many are victims themselves, troubling facts that mean the cycle of abuse is poised to continue, experts say.

That's one possible takeaway from a newly published database called Healthy Native Families: Preventing Violence At All Ages. It's a warehouse of information harvested from recent reports that drills down on the problem among Alaska Natives statewide.

  • Native mothers of 3-year-olds are eight times more likely than non-Natives to report that their child had witnessed violence or abuse, according to a 2009 state survey.
  • Alaska Natives in 2009 represented most of the confirmed cases of child abuse, though they're 15 percent of the state's population. The Office of Children Services substantiated 2,070 cases of child abuse involving Alaska Natives that year. That outnumbered the 1,875 cases for other children.
  • Alaska Native adults are almost twice as likely as non-Natives to report that as children, they witnessed parents or guardians physically fighting. Roughly one in three saw their parents hurting each other in some way, including kicking, hitting or shoving.

Click here to read the full article

Topics:
FamilyIntimate Partner Violence
Alabama
Jun 2015

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today applauded Alabama Governor Robert Bentley for signing a new law that prohibits text messaging while driving.

"With Governor Bentley’s signature, now more than three-quarters of all states outlaw one of the riskiest behaviors behind the wheel – texting and driving," said Secretary LaHood. "Alabama roads and motorists will be safer as a result of this law, which reminds everyone that we cannot ignore the potentially life-altering dangers associated with text messaging and driving."

Alabama becomes the 38th state to prohibit texting behind the wheel by all drivers. The new law takes effect on August 1 and violators will be fined $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense and $75 for a third or subsequent offense.

Click here to read more

T

Topics:
Traffic Injuries
Virginia
Jun 2015

Background and Objective: Early high school start times (EHSST) may lead to sleep loss in adolescents ("teens"), thus resulting in higher crash rates. (Vorona et al., 2011). In this study, we examined two other adjacent Virginia counties for the two years subsequent to the above-mentioned study. We again hypothesized that teens from jurisdictions with EHSST (versus later) experience higher crash rates.

Methods: Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles supplied de-identified aggregate data on weekday crashes and time-of-day for 16-18 year old (teen) and adult drivers for school years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 in Henrico and Chesterfield Counties. Teen crash rates for counties with early versus later school start-times were compared using two-sample Z-tests and these compared to adult crash rates using pair-wise tests.

Results: Henrico teens manifested a statistically higher crash rate of 48.8/1000 licensed drivers versus Chesterfield's 37.9/1000 (p = 0.04) for 2009-2010. For 2010-2011, HC 16-17 year old teens demonstrated a statistically significant higher crash rate (53.2/1000 versus 42.0/1000), while for 16-18 teens a similar trend was found, albeit nonsignificant (p = 0.09). Crash peaks occurred 1 hour earlier in the morning and 2 hours earlier in the afternoon in Chesterfield, consistent with commute times. Post hoc analyses found significantly more run-off road crashes to the right (potentially sleep-related) in Chesterfield teens. Adult crash rates and traffic congestion did not differ between counties.

Conclusions: Higher teen crash rates occurred in jurisdictions with EHSST, as in our prior study. This study contributes to and extends existing data on preventable teen crashes and high school start times.

Read more about the follow-up study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

Read the original study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety
Alaska
Jun 2015

Background Serious physical abuse resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been implicated as an underreported cause of infant mortality. Nearly 80% of all abusive head trauma (AHT) occurs among children 2 years of age, with infants experiencing an incidence nearly 8 times that of <2-year olds.

Objective This study describes the validation of the CDC Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma (PAHT) definitions when applied to a multi-source database at the state level and provides a robust annual incidence estimate of AHT among children <2 years of age in Alaska.

Design AHT cases among children residing in Alaska during 2005-2010 were identified by applying the PAHT coding schema to a multi-source database which included vital death records, the Violent Death Reporting System (AK-VDRS), the Maternal Infant Mortality Review Child Death Review (MIMRCDR), the Alaska Trauma Registry (ATR), the inpatient Hospital Discharge Database (HDD) and Medicaid claims. Using these data, we calculated statewide AHT annual incidence rates.

Results The databases with the highest case capture rates were the ATR and Medicaid systems, both at 51%, followed by HDD at 38%. Combined, the ATR, HDD and Medicaid systems captured 91% of all AHT cases. The linkage and use of the PAHT definitions yielded an estimated sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 98%. During the study period, we detected an annual average incidence of 34.4 cases per 100,000 children aged <2 years (95% CI 25.1, 46.1) and a case fatality proportion of 22% (10/45). Among the AHT cases, 82% were infants. Significant differences (p<0.05) in AHT were noted by age and race, but not by sex.

Conclusions In Alaska, applying the CDC PAHT definition to the multi-source database enabled us to capture 49% more AHT cases than any of the individual database used in this analysis alone.

Click here to purchase the study from the International Journal of Circumpolar Health

Topics:
Child Maltreatment
Kentucky
Jun 2015

Adequate levels of physical activity are essential for health, but participation in sports and recreational physical activities is associated with an increased risk of injury. The present study quantifies the impact of sports- and recreation-related injuries (SRIs) for middle and high school–aged Kentucky children. The study revealed one fifth of all Kentucky ED visits, and ED charges billed for unintentional injury among youth aged 10–18 years were related to sport and recreation. In the absence of a dedicated SRI surveillance system, ED administrative records provide meaningful utility for conducting statewide assessments of adolescent SRIs.

To view the abstract for this study from the Journal of Adolescent Healthclick here

Topics:
General Multiple Causes
Arizona
Jun 2015

After years of failed attempts, the Arizona Legislature on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would require older children to ride in booster seats.

If Gov. Jan Brewer signs the measure, Arizona would join 47 other states that have similar laws.

House Bill 2154, sponsored by Rep. Nancy McLain, R-Bullhead City, would require children ages 5-7 who are shorter than 4 feet 10 inches to be in a child-restraint system.

Click here to read more about the law

 
Topics:
Child Passenger Safety
Arkansas
Jun 2015

People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. On average, more than 400 people in the US die each year due to health-related illness. In Arkansas, between 1-1-08 and 12-31-13, more than 300 individuals, with an average age of 13, were transported to a hospital because of heat-related illness. According to the Korey Stringer Institute, over 80% of all exertional heat illnesses that occur during sports activity occur within the first week back to activity. In addition, July and August are the most deadly months for catastrophic sport deaths. “Heat-related illness is 100% preventable if people know the right things to do at the right time” says Greg Brown, Emergency Medical Services Section Chief at the Arkansas Department of Health.

In response, the Arkansas Departments of Education (ADE) and Health, Emergency Medical Services for Children Program (ADH) launched a new project this spring to prevent health-related illness among student athletes and youth. The goal of the Exertional Health Illness Project is to educate and train school administrators, coaches, parents, caregivers, emergency medical personnel and communities on ways to avoid or treat health-related illness in youth.

Over 3,000 packets with heat safety training materials were distributed to public, private and charter schools in AR. The materials include a DVD about exertional heat illness, educational posters, a brochure for younger students, a letter from the AR Activities Association and a quick reference care for parents and caregivers. These materials, including the full-length video “Cool Down First,” are available to all on the Exertional Heat Illness Project website: www.ar.gov/ehi.

Funding for the project is provided by ADE, ADH and Lifetouch. 

Topics:
Sports Safety
Arkansas
Jun 2015

All-terrain vehicle (ATV) injury to children continues to increase, especially in states with rural communities. In 2009 alone, seven children in Arkansas were killed in ATV-related crashes. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) admits approximately 75 children to its trauma unit annually for severe injuries. These two statistics do not account for the children who are treated at their family physician or local hospital for less severe injuries.

The hospital formed a hospital-community workgroup in 2001 to begin a dialogue between organizations with an interest in ATV safety. The dialogue continues into its ninth year. ACH physicians, nurses, researchers, and outreach educators meet two times a year with representatives from ATV retailers, the insurance industry, the University of Arkansas Extension Service (UAEX) and its youth-oriented 4-H, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). This partnership has become invaluable for disseminating evidence-based safety information in Arkansas and other rural states.

Physicians at the hospital wholeheartedly support the position of several medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), that children under 16 years of age should not ride ATVs. They are also pragmatic in recognizing that public support of this recommendation is a long-term goal. The UAEX and Farm Bureau Insurance recruited participants for focus groups moderated by ACH research staff to prioritize four safety messages that have an evidence-base for reducing the risk of serious injuries on ATVs: an appropriately sized ATV for the rider, helmet use, rider training, and single riders. Collaboration between the three organizations has also resulted in a way for the hospital to not compromise the no-use positions of their professional organizations. School and community presentations are made by physicians and nurses on injuries resulting from ATV use, frequently followed by safe rider demonstrations by both community organizations or an ASI training by the 4-H.

In 2006, ACH and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) collaborated on the production of a video on ATV safety for hunters. The 20-minute video relates the story of two teens riding an ATV who ignore both ATV and gun safety recommendations. The 4-H donated the use of its training facility for classroom scenes. Self-reported evaluations of hunter safety education participants over two years have shown the video increased knowledge on helmet and other safety gear, passengers, and the use of ATVs on paved roads. The video is now used in hunter safety education courses in Arkansas and other states, reaching thousands of newly licensed hunters each year.

Identifying unique dissemination strategies for rural youths who ride ATVs is the purpose of a three-year award from HRSA Emergency Medical Services to Children Targeted Issues (#H34MC08514-01-00). Building on the hunter safety video, a tool kit containing a facilitator guide, supplemental print materials, and classroom curriculum guides have been produced. The tool kit was used by physical education teachers in the Livingston Parish School District in Louisiana and hunter safety instructors through the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Project staff conducted debriefing sessions with these collaborators to determine the tool kits’ usefulness. While on site, focus groups were also conducted with 4-H youths to further evaluate posters and print materials. In addition, interviews have been conducted with teachers, counselors, and nurses in Arkansas who have requested the tool kits to get their impressions and recommendations.

Findings from evaluation activities will be applied to a revised tool kit in the spring of 2010. Dissemination of the described educational products is planned for the summer of 2010 following revisions based on evaluation findings. Print ready versions of posters and brochures will be available for local reproduction. Logos of local organizations can be added as long as the original logos are not removed.

Another activity of the current EMSC funded project is to test the feasibility of disseminating ATV safety through movie theaters. A theater in a rural area of Arkansas allowed a number of dissemination strategies over eight weeks, including airing of a public service announcement (PSAs) during advertising, lobby displays, and distributing brochures. Trained high school volunteers from an adjacent county conducted exit interviews under the supervision of project staff. Data from this activity is currently being analyzed. Copies of the PSAs are available for local reproduction as long as the original logos are not removed.

For more information, contact:

Mary E. Aitken, MD, MPH
Principal Investigator
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Director, Arkansas Injury Prevention Center
aitkenmarye@uams.edu

Beverly Miller, MEd
Associate Director of Research, Arkansas Injury Prevention Center
millerbeverlyk@uams.edu

Hope Mullins, MPH
Research Coordinator, Arkansas Injury Prevention Center
mullinssamanthah@uams.edu

Topics:
Rural Farm Safety
Connecticut
Jun 2015

The Connecticut legislature last year passed an anti-bullying law which places the state at the forefront of the battle against bullying in schools. The law was approved unanimously and mandates training for employees and reporting of bullying incidents. It’s modern enough to tackle the new area of cyber-bullying and will speed up school response times. From next year schools will be mandated to report bullying acts to the state. The stated aim of the bill is to decrease teen suicide rates as a result of bullying.

Click here to read the full article

Topics:
Bullying Prevention
Colorado
Jun 2015

Given recent firearm-related fatalities combined with declining gun research funding, it is important to monitor firearm injuries in youths. Injury death rates are available but provide an incomplete picture of these potentially preventable injuries.

Investigations on temporal trends of both fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries remain scarce. The objective was to investigate temporal trends of both fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries in children and adolescents presenting to 2 Colorado urban trauma centers.

Overall, 6920 youths were injured. Firearms caused the injury in 129 of these youths (1.9%) (2.1% in 2000-2002; 1.9% in 2003-2005; 1.6% in 2006-2008). Firearm-wounded patients were more likely to be adolescent males, and their injuries were more often self-inflicted compared with youths with other injuries (Table 1). Sixty-five patients (50.4%) with firearm injuries required intensive care vs 1311 patients (19.3%) with other trauma; 17 patients (13.2%) with firearm injuries died vs 116 (1.7%) with other trauma.

Click here to read the full study from JAMA

Topics:
Firearms
Colorado
Jun 2015

A new campaign in Colorado, to be unveiled Wednesday, aims to reduce prescription drug abuse among teens, The Denver Post reports.

The campaign, called Rise Above Colorado, includes educational programs and outreach efforts. It builds on the experience of the Colorado Meth Project, the article notes. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers are supporting the effort.

“We wanted to respond to the changing drug landscape,” Rise Above Colorado Executive Director Kent MacLennan told the newspaper. “We will communicate with teens on a science and fact basis. We won’t be preachy. We will present facts in an honest way.”

More than 29 percent of high school seniors in Colorado have taken prescription medication without a doctor’s prescription, according to a survey conducted by Rise Above Colorado and The Partnership at Drugfree.org. Nationwide, that figure is 25.6 percent. Teens in the state say prescription drugs are easier to get than beer. The survey found 42 percent of teens in Colorado said it was easy to get prescription medications from their parents’ medicine cabinets.

Click here for the news story from The Partnership at Drugfree.org

Topics:
Prescription Drug Misuse Abuse
Rhode Island
Jun 2015

From the CADCA Newsletter:

Residents of the coastal town of Barrington, R.I. realized there was a growing prescription drug problem among high school students after parents and faculty at Barrington High School started voicing concerns. That’s when Barrington Adult and Youth (BAY) Team decided to be proactive about the issue and set up a Prescription Drug Committee.

Kathleen Sullivan, the coalition’s project director explained that a multi-pronged approach was used, combining efforts with law enforcement, schools and local media. Starting in 2009, the community held prescription drug take-back events about twice a year. Since then, about 10 take-backs have been held.  Take-backs are often held at a CVS Pharmacy, which is a well trafficked, more visible location. There is also a permanent collection box in the local police station that is heavily advertised throughout the city.

Another initiative — as much of a no-brainer as it may seem — is keeping parents informed if a friend of their child gets arrested while they are together. “Say a boy is arrested for possession of alcohol and was with three others. The other three will get a letter from police saying that they were in the presence of someone arrested,” Sullivan said. “It’s a heads up to parents that maybe their son or daughter is making the wrong choices with the friends they keep.”

The Prescription Drug Committee created a brochure, “Keeping Medicine Safe,” providing tips on how to keep prescriptions safe so youth cannot access them in the home. That brochure was given to all pediatricians and parents in the area and is handed out at community events.

To keep residents up to date, a monthly fact sheet providing data on prescription drug abuse and upcoming take-backs is published in the local newspaper. Information about keeping drugs out of the wrong hands is also regularly published in a newspaper dedicated to senior citizens. “It’s an ongoing conversation, we are really trying to remain proactive,” Sullivan said. “There is a lot of media coverage in the community right now of the opiate epidemic in the country and locally. Community leaders are looking for responses to that.”

Police also regularly visit schools to collect prescriptions left behind in nurses offices, which can add up quickly, Sullivan said.

The coalition also shows a presentation on prescription drug abuse compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration during mandatory events for parents of athletes in schools across the city.

Using these tactics, the past 30 day non-medical use of prescription drugs fell at a rate of 61.1 percent between 2009 and 2011 among high school seniors: from 19 percent to 7 percent. “Remaining proactive and consistent with the message is important,” Sullivan said.  But the BAY Team isn’t stopping there. “We are making sure the police department is using Narcan,” Sullivan said, referring to the drug that can prevent an opioid overdose. “We use it as an opportunity to say, ‘How can we prevent people from getting into the situation in the first place?’ It’s a hard message to cut through but we try to do that.”

The coalition is also convincing local physicians to join Rhode Island’s prescription drug registry.  In addition, they are educating preteens about healthy ways to deal with stress, hopefully thwarting a future generation of substance abusers. “We really try to reach out to parents of younger children to address issues of anxiety and stress and coping skills,” Sullivan explained, adding that a workshop on coping mechanisms was held for elementary school students. “More and more young people are plagued by it, so this way they learn how to cope by not using prescription drugs when they are older,” she said.

The coalition is also creating awareness of how not only young people, but people in general access prescription drugs in the community. “Some are going to real estate open houses and going into medicine cabinets,” Sullivan said, adding that residents are encouraged to purchase lockboxes for safekeeping of prescriptions. “A contractor or cleaner can come into the home and take you medicine, not just teenagers.”

In addition, the BAY Team is about to start a project working with a high school senior creating some form of literature for grades four and five, such as a graphic novel or coloring book, with prevention safety tips for prescription drugs.

To read this article in the CADCA newsletter click here

Topics:
Prescription Drug Misuse Abuse
California
Jun 2015

The Sources of Strength suicide prevention program in place at Palo Alto high school has been successful at changing social norms so far, according to the results of an evaluation of the first year of the three-year program. Between fall and spring, the percentage of students at Gunn High School reporting they felt comfortable talking about personal problems with someone outside of their family or school rose from 70 percent to 90 percent. The percentage saying they could discuss problems with an adult in their family rose from 85 percent to 95 percent. Over the next two years, school officials hope to increase the percentage of students reporting they would actually seek help from a counselor or other adult at school.

For the news story, click here.

Topics:
Suicide Prevention
California
Jun 2015

AB 1629 would provide reimbursement for a crime victim or derivative victim for the amount of outpatient violence peer counseling-related expenses incurred, thereby providing equal access to services for all victims of all violent crime. Setting up a pay-for-service reimbursement for “Violence Intervention Specialists” would accomplish two things: (1) Allow more organizations to offer intervention specialist services and (2) Increase the number of victims receiving benefits, as awareness among victims about the services also increases. AB 1629 will support violence prevention efforts, helping target populations receive the benefits offered by victim’s compensation programs. Many victims of gun violence return to the same violent environment they were traumatized as victims, without the appropriate support they need to stay safe physically and emotionally. AB 1629 removes a statutory barrier to achieving that goal.

Click here for a fact sheet about AB 1629 from Youth Alive

Click here for the text of the bill

Topics:
Teen Driving Safety, Violence
California
Jun 2015

The automobile has radically transformed the way in which Americans live. We are no longer tied to working, going to school, or spending our leisure time close to where we live. Unfortunately, in many cases, this has led to a built environment in which we no longer have the option of working, learning, or recreating in our own communities. Stores, movie theatres, and offices have moved from town centers to malls and office parks that are cut off from the rest of the community and surrounded by highways lacking sidewalks and bicycle lanes. Schools are often built on the outskirts of towns. Even when people live close to their destinations, they often feel that they and their children cannot walk or bicycle because of the risk of being hit by a motor vehicle. Some people do not walk or bicycle, nor do they want their children to do so, because they fear being victimized by criminals. A built environment that restricts the ease and safety of incorporating physical activity into peoples' daily routines, combined with contemporary eating habits, has produced an obesity epidemic, affecting even our children and teens, which contributes to heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening conditions.

Public health practitioners have begun to understand that creating an environment that allows people to safely integrate physical activity into their everyday lives has benefits for weight control, physical fitness, and disease prevention. An environment in which people can walk and bicycle also helps renew a sense of community. Providing opportunities for safe and convenient walking and bicycling requires that public health practitioners learn how to influence land use and transportation policies. This requires practitioners to be able to speak the language and understand the world of transportation planners, community development agencies, and land-use committees. It also requires that public health practitioners from a variety of disciplines be able to articulate their common interests in modifying the built environment.

To help public health practitioners develop these skills, the California Department of Health Services' California Center for Physical Activity, in partnership with the State and Local Injury Control Section, created the Local Public Health and the Build Environment (LPHBE) Network. The LPHBE Network held two Planning and Land Use 101 trainings geared for public health practitioners who have little experience with planning, land use, and transportation policies. Each training included presentations on the public health impact of the built environment, simulation exercises, and a "walking audit" to identify good street design that promoted safe walking and bicycling as well as areas needing improvement. The trainings also featured panels including local public health department colleagues who discussed their work to improve the built environment.

The Planning and Land Use 101 events were followed by semi-monthly teleconferences featuring guest speakers with a specific expertise in making connections between public health and the built environment including planning commissioners, directors of public health departments, and environmental health experts.

The LPHBE Network also provided eight local public health agencies with $5,000 mini-grants, which allowed them to work on small projects in which they could use the knowledge and skills gained in the training and teleconferences. Many of the mini-grants were used to create local workshops, strategic planning, and other outreach events that established relationships among county public health departments and planning commissions as well with local agencies who work on issues of transportation management and air quality. In many cases, these people - and agencies - had never worked together. The mini-grants provided the opportunity for them to discover how common action could help them work toward their individual goals.

In most cases, these relationships are moving forward on concrete projects, including community walkability audits and funded positions to work on issues of health, safety, and the built environment. One exemplary project took place in San Bernardino, where the school system serves a significant number of households in which Spanish is the first (and for some parents, the only) language. Using walkability checklists to involve parents in improving the safety of their children who walk to school might have excluded these parents. The county health department used the mini-grant to give parents disposable cameras to use in documenting unsafe walking conditions in the community. These photographs were used to produce a report which was given to the city traffic engineer and the mayor. Jeffery Rosenhall, Project Coordinator for the California Center for Physical Activity, reported that this strategy helped provide "a very powerful voice for people who usually do not have a voice."

Riverside County Health Department is also using its grant to address common problems. In many communities, efforts to narrow streets and create a safe walking and bicycling area are opposed by fire departments who feel that narrowing streets, and other traffic calming measures, interfere with their ability to respond quickly to emergencies. Riverside is working with a consultant to find ways of making streets safe for the public while allowing first responder access, such as helping fire departments identify and buy vehicles that can negotiate narrower streets while still providing all the equipment and capabilities necessary in emergencies.

Many of the partnerships established under the mini-grants have continued to champion this issue in their counties in 2006. A second round of mini-grants has expanded these efforts to additional counties while continuing the work of several of the agencies funded in the first cycle.

For more information on the LPHBE Network, contact Jeffery Rosenhall, Project Coordinator, California Center for Physical Activity, at (916) 552-9885 or jrosenha@dhs.ca.gov.

Topics:
Poison Prevention
Massachusetts
Jun 2015

Campus administrators, police, municipal leaders and public health officials are warning college students in the Boston-area about the dangers of Molly in the wake of a string of overdoses and arrests related to the so-called “club drug” in recent weeks.

Molly, an illegal stimulant which is said to be a purer form of ecstasy or MDMA, has become increasingly popular around college campuses because the drug can deliver a quick, long-lasting high at a relatively low cost, according to substance abuse experts.

Tufts University officials have posted information about Molly to the school’s website and are sharing facts and tips via social media, said campus spokeswoman Kimberly Thurler. Administrators also distributed a fact sheet, hung posters around campus and have included information about the drug during health presentations and in drug and alcohol training for fraternities and sororities.

The public safety department at the Berklee College of Music distributed informational flyers to students last week, campus spokeswoman Margo Edwards said.

Click here for the full news story from Boston.com

Topics:
Underage Drinking Illicit Drug Abuse
Maryland
Jun 2015

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) released statistics as part of its ongoing surveillance of overdose deaths in Maryland showing an increase in the number of overdose deaths among pregnant women and new mothers in 2013. It also issued guidance to obstetricians and gynecologists across the state.

DHMH is undertaking efforts to reduce pregnancy-associated deaths in Maryland. The Department requires state-funded substance-use disorder treatment programs to provide pregnant women with requested services within 24 hours. DHMH also is undertaking two innovative pilots to improve substance-use treatment providers’ ability to treat pregnant women.

To view this article from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, click here.

For more information about overdose prevention in Maryland, click here.

Topics:
Poison Prevention

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