Injury and Violence Prevention News

June 2004
In this issue:
1. Firearm Data Brief
2. Best Practices to Prevent Drowning
3. 0.08 Percent BAC Limit for Drunk Driving: It's the Law
4. Save the Date Flyer: Toward Zero Deaths State Conference
5. Can You Hear Us Now? - MDH Capacity Building Conference
6. Public Health: Getting the Word Out - MPHA Meeting
7. Childhood Farm Injuries: Prevention Resources
8. Injury Prevention: An Effective Way to Cut Health Costs
9. June Injury and Violence Commemorations

1. Firearm Data Brief

Did you know that three-fourths of all firearm deaths in Minnesota from 1998 to 2001 were suicides? Learn more about firearm injuries and deaths, including the relation to race, age, gender, income, and residence (metro and greater Minnesota) in Firearm-Related Injury Data Brief: 1998 to 2001.

A News Release summarizing the data brief is also available.

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2. Best Practices to Prevent Drowning

Just in time for summer swimming and other water sports, MDH has prepared information on drowning prevention, the latest in the series, Best Practices in Injury Prevention. Information includes Minnesota and national drowning data as well as prevention recommendations.

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3. 0.08 Percent BAC Limit for Drunk Driving: It's the Law

The 2004 Minnesota Legislature has passed a law that lowers the legal limit for impaired driving from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent blood alcohol content. Advocates and legislators, aided by data supplied by agencies including MDH, supported the legislation. It will take effect in 2005. MDH prepared a fact sheet earlier in the session to provide information.

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4. Save the Date Flyer: Toward Zero Deaths State Conference

Toward Zero Deaths: Integrating Minnesota's Traffic Safety Agenda is a statewide conference combining information on the new multi-agency Toward Zero Deaths initiative, plus the Safe and Sober conference and the Child Passenger Safety certification training. The conference will be held September 13-14 at the St. Cloud Civic Center.

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5. Can You Hear Us Now? - MDH Capacity Building Conference

This year's Capacity Building Conference, to be held June 16-17 at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, focuses on strengthening communication skills to inform, educate, and empower people about health issues. Speakers will share examples of work they have accomplished with limited resources. Registration deadline is May 21.

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6. Public Health: Getting the Word Out - MPHA Meeting

The Minnesota Public Health Association 2004 annual meeting will be held June 23 at the Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska. Topic areas include persuading people about the value of public health, talking with and engaging diverse and special populations, and working with the media on public health issues. The keynote speaker is Dr. Vincent Covello, founder and director of the Center for Risk Communication. Registration deadline is June 9.

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7. Childhood Farm Injuries: Prevention Resources

A recent study by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health found that giving farming parents safety guidelines can cut injuries to children in half. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 33,000 children younger than 20 were injured on farms in the United States in 1998 and more than 100 were killed. NIOSH, which is part of CDC, has resources on preventing child agricultural injuries.

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8. Injury Prevention: An Effective Way to Cut Health Costs

In an April 7, 2004 commentary in the Toronto Globe and Mail, Dr. Robert Conn called injury prevention "a major step toward resolving the continuing crisis in health-care funding" that "lies entirely outside the health-care system."

Dr. Conn, a former pediatric surgeon, is president and CEO of SMARTRISK, a Canadian injury-prevention organization. The data he mentions is similar to that in the U.S. "Few Canadians," he wrote, "realize that between the ages of one and 44, they are more likely to die from injury - car crashes, falls, fires, poisoning, suicides and homicides - than from disease.

"The economic burden of injury is the fourth largest in our entire health-care system. Yet there is no comprehensive national strategy for injury prevention that could help the health-care system become more sustainable.

"Injury-prevention programs work: What is needed now is the political will and the resources to make a difference. As long as Canada's policy-makers and political leaders continue to focus on the narrow health-care system, they will fail to realize that many of the solutions lie upstream and in other departments and jurisdictions. Keeping Canadians out of the health-care system will go a long way toward reducing waiting lists for hospital beds and waiting times in emergency rooms, not to mention reducing the financial pressures."

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9. June Injury and Violence Commemorations

Prevent Blindness America sponsors Fireworks Safety Month in June, to promote awareness of Fourth of July fireworks safety.

The National Safety Council sponsors National Safety Month, with a theme this year of Crash-Free June.

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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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