Injury and Violence Prevention News

April 2004
In this issue:
1. Kids Shouldn't Operate ATVs Until Age 16, Says American Association of Pediatrics
2. Guide For Promoting Booster Seat Use
3. Learn About The Best Practices In Injury Prevention
4. May Commemorations in Injury and Violence Prevention
5. New CDC Publications on Significant Issues

1. Kids Shouldn't Operate ATVs Until Age 16, Says American Association of Pediatrics

An article in the April 2004 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), compares all-terrain vehicle (ATV) injuries in two states - one with a helmet law and one without - and concludes that children under age 16 should not operate ATVs, even when wearing helmets. ATV deaths have been increasing each year, and about one-third of the injuries and deaths have happened to children age 16 and under. The article cites an AAP policy that operators should be at least 16 years old, take a training course, wear helmets and eye protection, drive only in the daylight, and not carry a passenger.

Minnesota law currently requires ATV operators to have a driver's license to operate an ATV on public land, but there are no requirements for age or helmet use on private land. Helmets are required only for people under age 18, and only on public land. Operators under age 12 cannot cross a public road.

The National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, part of the Children's Safety Network, has ATV safety-related fact sheets, contacts, and resources for professionals.

A real-life Minnesota injury: recently, a seven-year old boy was treated in a hospital after being thrown from an ATV being operated by a 10-year-old. He was not wearing a helmet, and sustained a skull fracture along with symptoms that frequently indicate a traumatic brain injury. The doctor took the time to tell his mother about the AAP guidelines for safe operation of ATVs.

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2. Guide For Promoting Booster Seat Use

The National Highway Traffic Safety Agency funded a series of demonstration projects in 2001 to increase booster seat use. They are summarized in Best Practices for Promoting Booster Seat Use -- A How-To Guide Based on Community Demonstration Projects.

The guide includes information on coalition building, laws and law enforcement, and public education, as well as specifics on proper selection and usage of booster seats. The pilot activities were conducted in Nassau County, NY; Phoenix, AZ; Houston, TX; Bismarck, ND; and King County, WA.

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3. Learn About The Best Practices In Injury Prevention

The MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Unit has information on best prevention practices, including data on the impact of the problem in Minnesota, proven prevention strategies, and links to other organizations and resources. Topics to come in the next few months are Sexual Violence and Alcohol and Violence

Be sure to view our current best practices in injury prevention:

  • Bicycle Injuries
  • Falls
  • Firearm Injuries
  • Home Fires
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Motor Vehicle Crashes
  • Youth Violence

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4. May Commemorations in Injury and Violence Prevention

Turn these commemorations into media opportunities for promoting your prevention programs or activities:

National SAFE KIDS Week, May 2-8
National SAFE KIDS Campaign

North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH), May 2-8
American Society of Safety Engineering

National Safe Boating Week, May 23-29
North American Safe Boating Council

Buckle Up America! Week, May 24-31
Office of Occupant Protection National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

National Electrical Safety Month, all of May
Electrical Safety Foundation International

National Trauma Awareness Month, all of May
American Trauma Society

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5. New CDC Publications on Significant Issues

What's New at the CDC Injury Center includes national-level items about injury prevention. Some highlights from the most recent edition include an update on injury indicators from all states, a behavioral science bibliography, youth violence prevention recommendations, and a juvenile suicide report.

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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.

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Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
PO BOX 64882
ST PAUL MN 55164-0882
(651) 201-5484

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