Injury and Violence Prevention News

February 2005
In this issue:
1. New data brief reports on women who are victims of violence
2. Making the financial case for injury prevention
3. Risk Watch grant applications due March 25
4. Health literacy video conference scheduled for March 22
5. Mean Streets works to increase pedestrian safety
6. Website launched to advance booster seat safety
7. Brain Injury Awareness Month – March
8. Poison Prevention Week – March 21 to 27

1. New data brief reports on women who are victims of violence

The MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Unit (IVPU) has produced Self-reported Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Data Brief, which reports on a 2004 MDH survey of 18 to 44 year-old women. Three percent of the women interviewed reported that they had experienced intimate partner violence during the 12 months preceding the survey, and 1 percent had experienced sexual violence. Extrapolating to Minnesota 2003 population, this means that in one year about 30,000 women in this age group experienced intimate partner violence and 10,000 women experienced sexual violence.

The data brief also reports on other recent Minnesota and national surveys of women regarding sexual and intimate partner violence. A more comprehensive summary is also available by reading the news release.

On a related topic, IVPU's Sexual Violence Prevention program has recently completed If You Need Help, which directs users to resources for victims of sexual assault and prevention of child abuse.



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2. Making the financial case for injury prevention

Did you know that unintentional injuries rob Americans of more years of life before they reach age 65 than any other cause of death (including cancer, heart disease, homicide and AIDS)? Did you know that failure to wear seat belts leads to about 9,200 unnecessary deaths in the U.S, each year and $26 billion in health care costs?

More about costs of unintentional injury is available from the Minnesota Safety Council's, Making the Case: Unintentional Injury Should Be a Part of the Health Care Cost Containment Discussion. The Council uses data to recommend a universal standard seat belt law, which would permit law officers to ticket drivers when occupants are not buckled up.



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3. Risk Watch grant applications due March 25

The Risk Watch Community Grant Program is accepting proposals for the 2005-06 school year. Risk Watch is an injury prevention curriculum developed by the National Fire Protection Association for children in preschool through grade 8. In Minnesota, the program is offered through grade 6. To apply, communities must create a coalition of representatives from local public or school health, law enforcement, fire departments, and education. Grant recipients receive training, the curriculum, a state mentor, and other resources valued at $5,000. The application deadline is March 25. For a copy of the request for proposals, contact Dan Bernardy, Deputy State Fire Marshal, (651) 215-1754.



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4. Health literacy video conference scheduled for March 22

A statewide video conference called A Novel Approach to Health Literacy for Pregnant Teens is scheduled for 12:15 to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22. Designed for people who bring health information and services to teenagers and their children, the conference is a good introduction to health literacy. It will be televised in Bemidji, Duluth, Fergus Falls, Marshall, Rochester, St. Cloud, and St. Paul. Partners with the MDH are the HCMC Department of Pediatrics, the March of Dimes and the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation. For details or to register, contact Linda Feltes, (651) 282-2954.



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5. Mean Streets works to increase pedestrian safety

What’s the most dangerous mode of transportation? Walking, according to the Surface Transportation Policy Project’s (STPP) Mean Streets 2004 study, How Far Have We Come?, issued in December 2004. Some areas of the country are becoming markedly more dangerous, the study concluded. It recommended specific actions that governments can take to increase pedestrian safety.

Partners with STPP in the study were AARP, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, American Planning Association, American Public Health Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, local and state policymakers, and state and local transportation advocates.



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6. Website launched to advance booster seat safety

The National Partnership on Booster Seat Safety promotes the use of booster seats for children who have outgrown their child safety seats but are not ready to use standard seat belts. Resources include links to federal recommendations, a list of recalled products, videotape demonstrations for parents, a database of state laws, state-by-state reports of crashes involving children, creative resources for teachers, and more. The website is intended for use by families, health professionals, and policymakers.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, only 30 percent of 4 to 8 year-olds in Minnesota use boosters, which are seat lifts that help safety belts fit children properly. Poor safety belt fit can contribute to serious injury, ejection and death in vehicle crashes.



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7. Brain Injury Awareness Month – March

Living With Brain Injury is the two-year focus of the Brain Injury Association of America. For March 2005, Brain Injury Awareness Month, you can order a free kit that reflects its theme. The kit includes updated fact sheets about brain injury incidence and prevalence,
awareness posters, information on living with brain injury, and more.



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8. Poison Prevention Week – March 21 to 27

The theme of this year’s National Poison Prevention Week, March 20-28, is Children Act Fast...So Do Poisons! The American Association of Poison Control Centers and other members of the Poison Prevention Week Council urge parents to store harmful products out of their children's reach at all times, and to be aware of young children's growing capacities to explore and experiment. The 2002 Poison Center Survey features an evaluation of the nationwide poison control number, (800) 222-1222, which has been in effect since January 2002. For some tips on preventing poisoning in your home, see the The Injury Prevention Program's, Protect your Child...Prevent Poisoning.



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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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