Injury and Violence Prevention News

January 2004
In this issue:
1. Poster -- Bicycle Helmets: Make Sure They Fit!
2. Subsequent Offenses by Sex Offenders: A Report
3. New Information on Alcohol Use: Costs and BAC Limit
4. Plan Your 2004 Injury and Violence Prevention Activities
5. February Child Passenger Seat Demonstrations
6. Some Resources for Poison Control Prevention Week: March 14-20
7. Communities Encouraged to Adopt Playground Safety Guidelines
8. Generations Journal Focuses on Preventing Falls

1. Poster -- Bicycle Helmets: Make Sure They Fit!

Did you know that wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of brain injury by 88 percent... but only if it's properly fitted? This new MDH poster for kids and adults was developed by Center for Health Promotion staff -- Graphic Designer Lejla Fazlic-Omerovic along with Mark Kinde and Linda Feltes, who are both bicycle commuters with children who ride. Also advising on the project was the State Bicycle Advisory Committee.

The bicycle helmet poster is available in letter (8.5"x11") or tabloid (11"x17") size. Look for information on ordering printed copies in a future issue of IVPU News.



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2. Subsequent Offenses by Sex Offenders: A Report

A report of the Minnesota Department of Corrections may shed light on recent discussions about recidivism of sex offenders who have been sentenced to probation: Community-Based Sex Offender Program Evaluation Project: 1999 Report to the Legislature. This is the most recent report in a research effort funded by the Minnesota Legislature. It reports on the re-offense rates of felony-level sex offenders who are placed on probation. Offenders who completed treatment were significantly less likely to be rearrested for a subsequent sex offense than were those who never entered treatment or those who did not complete treatment. The majority of offenders on probation (69 percent) were not rearrested, and of those who were rearrested, 9 percent were charged with a sex offense. Additional publications on sex offenders are available from the Department of Corrections



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3. New Information on Alcohol Use: Costs and BAC Limit

Alcohol contributes to many forms of injury and violence, such as car crashes, fires, falls, drowning, child abuse, homicide, and suicide. Two new information sheets from MDH provide information to support prevention efforts.

The Human and Economic Cost of Alcohol Use in Minnesota, a background information sheet, describes drinking patterns among adults and youth in Minnesota as well as alcohol's relationship to deaths from a variety of causes.

In 2001, the total human and economic costs in Minnesota associated with alcohol were $4.5 billion, or about $900 per person. This includes health care expenses, loss of productivity, and expenses related to crime, social welfare administration, motor vehicle crashes, and fires. Loss of productivity made up the largest proportion of the costs. Costs were 19 times greater than the revenue brought in through taxes on the sale of alcohol. In addition to the alcohol users themselves, costs were borne by family members, units of government, private insurance, and victims who were not using alcohol. The fact sheet gives guidelines for calculating costs for specific counties or communities.

0.08 Blood Alcohol Content Level is a policy position fact sheet that supports efforts to seek legislative action to lower the blood alcohol content (BAC) level for impaired driving arrests. The position sheet gives information on social drinking and 0.08 BAC level, as well as fatal crash data from other states, before and after adopting the change.



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4. Plan Your 2004 Injury and Violence Prevention Activities

The Injury Related National Health Observances calendar from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists commemorative weeks and months in 2004, with links to the sponsoring organizations. It will help ensure that most injury and violence topics receive attention during the year and that national messages reach your communities at the same time as your local efforts.

Use the calendar to plan activities, news releases, media appearances, conferences, or related announcements.



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5. February Child Passenger Seat Demonstrations

Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week is February 8-14. The National Highway Safety Administration provides information about Baby Extravaganza, a safety seat promotion in Babies R Us stores nationwide in February.

The events, planned for every weekend in February, include speakers and exhibits, with demonstrations by trained child passenger safety technicians. To participate, contact the promotional coordinator at the nearest store. Additional resources for Child Passenger Safety Week are in the December 2003 IVPU News).



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6. Some Resources for Poison Control Prevention Week: March 14-20

  • Ipecac No Longer Recommended For Treating Poisoning
    The American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends the using syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting after poisoning. At its November 2003 conference, the group adopted a recommendation that parents focus on poison prevention and on seeking advice promptly from poison control or emergency, 911.
  • Carbon Monoxide Information in Spanish and English
    Following recent deaths in the Twin Cities' Latino community, Chicanos Latinos Unidos en Servico has developed information in English and Spanish on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. The fact sheet, under News and Events, urges readers to obtain a carbon monoxide detector as well as a smoke detector.
  • CSPC Warns About Space Heaters
    In a booklet called What You Should Know about Space Heaters, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
    reminds consumers to follow safety precautions when purchasing and using electric or fuel-fired space heaters. Electric heaters can cause fires, and the fuel-burning models can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and indoor air pollution.


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7. Communities Encouraged to Adopt Playground Safety Guidelines

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has produced the Handbook for Public Playground Safety, with guidelines to enable parks, schools and other agencies to make their playground areas safe. There also is a shorter version of the Public Playground Safety Checklist.



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8. Generations Journal Focuses on Preventing Falls

More than 250,000 older adults are hospitalized each year for hip fractures, most of which are due to falls. Falls have become a complex public health problem and a major cause of injury and death for older adults, but they can be prevented. The Journal of the American Society on Aging devoted its Winter 2002-03 issue to falls and fall-related injuries, with articles on risk factors, fear of falling, prevention, intervention, and research.



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Also see > National Center for Injury Prevention & Control (NCIPC), at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the latest injury prevention news at the national-level.


mdh logo
Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
PO BOX 64882
ST PAUL MN 55164-0882
(651) 201-5484
injury.prevention@health.state.mn.us

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