Injury and Violence Prevention News

July 2003
In this issue:
1. Best Practices to Prevent Home Fires
2. Getting Better After Traumatic Brain Injury Or Concussion
3. Basic Education for Life Saving in Schools
4. Advisory Committee Helps Assure Data Quality
5. What Is ACE And How Will It Affect Injury Prevention?
6. Driving While Drowsy
7. Some Cool Tips For Summer Heat
8. Finding Funding for Injury and Violence Prevention

1. Best Practices to Prevent Home Fires

Did you know that functioning smoke alarms, when properly installed, will cut in half the chances of dying in a home fire? And that people have only about two minutes to get outside safely after an alarm sounds? Best Practices to Prevent Home Fires, the seventh topic in the Injury unit's Best Practices series, contains information on the problem, prevention strategies, and other resources and websites.



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2. Getting Better After Traumatic Brain Injury Or Concussion

With its partner, the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota, the MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Unit has produced, Getting Better After Traumatic Brain Injury or Concussion, a brochure included in the mailing that MDH sends to people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI) and are in the TBI/SCI Registry. They also receive information on resources and services for both SCI and TBI, both for children and adults. Spanish translations of many of the materials are available.



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3. Basic Education for Life Saving in Schools

Basic Education for Life Saving in Schools (BELSS) is designed to increase the number of school-aged youth who are competent in safety, first aid, CPR, and Automatic External Defibrillation skills. BELSS trains teachers and provides curricula. BELSS participants will receive certifications, curriculum, and resources for implementing safety education in their schools. Coming dates in Minnesota:
  • August 13-14, 2003, Breezy Point Resort,
  • December 3-4, 2003, Best Western Hotel & Conference Center, North Mankato,
  • February 12-13, 2004, Holiday Inn & Suites. St. Cloud


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4. Advisory Committee Helps Assure Data Quality

The MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Unit gets good advice on data collection and analysis from Minnesota Trauma Data Bank Advisory Committee. Members represent MDH, other state agencies, trauma surgeons, medical records staff, advocacy organizations, and the Minnesota Hospital Association. CDC staff members also attend the meetings, which are scheduled during their site visits to Minnesota.

In addition, a Violence Surveillance Advisory Committee provides input into data issues including child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence.



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5. What Is ACE And How Will It Affect Injury Prevention?

The recent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study is attracting interest in the injury and violence prevention field. The study, conducted among more than 17,000 Kaiser Permanente health plan members, showed a powerful relationship between childhood emotional experiences, including abuse and various family dysfunctions, and health and emotional problems in adulthood, including suicide.

The Relation Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult Health: Turning Gold into Lead, an article in the Winter 2002 Permanente Journal, states that "time does not heal some of the adverse experiences we found so common in the childhoods of a large population of middle-aged, middle-class Americans. One doesn't 'just get over' some things."

The findings are causing many in the injury prevention field to advocate for shifting attention and resources toward prevention at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.



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6. Driving While Drowsy

The dangers of driving while intoxicated are well known. But Drowsy Driving an article on the National Sleep Foundation, shows the risks of driving without enough sleep:

  • A person awake 16 hours or longer has the performance equivalent of someone with a 0.05 percent blood-alcohol level. For a person who has been awake for 24 hours, the equivalent is 0.10 percent -- the legal limit in Minnesota.
  • People driving for long periods of time commonly experience bouts of microsleep lasting one to three seconds. That's enough time to travel the length of a football field in a vehicle going 65 miles per hour.


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7. Some Cool Tips For Summer Heat

In Minnesota, MDH data show that heat exposure causes more hospital visits in August than any other month. Of 658 hospital-treated injuries in 2001 due to hot weather conditions, 390 were in August (59 percent) and 164 were in July (25 percent). Most of the 658 patients were teens and young adults: 15 to 24 year olds (25 percent), 25 to34 year olds (18 percent), and 35 to 44 year olds (16 percent). Based on information from CDC, these are the best ways to prevent heat-related illnesses:

  • Drink more fluids.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar and avoid very cold drinks, which can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if possible, in an air-conditioned place. When the temperature is in the high 90s, electric fans may provide comfort but will not prevent heat-related illness.
  • When outdoors, wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and use sunscreen of SPF 15 or more.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Check regularly on people who are especially at risk, such as infants and young children, people over age 65, or those with mental or physical illness, particularly heart disease or high blood pressure. If you must be out in the heat:
  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours and reduce exercise.
  • If exercising, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour and rest frequently. The website of the Zunis Foundation, which deals with sports safety, is now updated with information on heat index and related sports illnesses.

Additional Summer Safety Tips, for protecting young children from heat illness, are available from the American Academy of Pediatrics.



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8. Finding Funding for Injury and Violence Prevention

The Children's Safety Network helps local and state agencies find financial support for injury and violence prevention program. Finding Funding for Injury and Violence Prevention includes fact sheets on federal, state, corporate, and foundation funding; sources unique to different areas; and a resource list.



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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
injury.prevention@health.state.mn.us

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The Minnesota Department of Health attempts to report all data accurately. If you discover an error, please contact us at Injury.Prevention@health.state.mn.us.
By using this system, you agree to not share these data in ways that would identify individuals or provide information on any malicious acts.