Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What health informatics information technology can do for injury and violence prevention?

Today's guest blog is by Jiunn-Jye (JJ) Sheu MSPH, PhD, MCHES, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Recreation Professions at Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science and Human Service, University of Toledo

Health information technology covers a wide variety of innovations in computer sciences, engineering, communication for public health, prevention sciences, and clinical medicine. The use of health information technology has been widely applied to a variety of public health issues, including injury and violence surveillance and prevention. For example, Reports of the Leading Causes of Death: issued by the National Center for Health Statistics showed unintentional injuries ranked fifth place for all ages and topped the list for persons aged 1-44 years.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS): can provide spatial distributions by capturing, storing, analyzing, managing, and presenting data with reference to geographic location data for fatalities associated with intentional and unintentional injuries. In addition, Helmet technology for head injury among motorists: Motorists suffer from higher risk of head injuries and concussions from accidents. Innovative helmet designs can prevent such tragedies from happening or reduce the force of head traumas.

Moreover, Websites to promote awareness of injury prevention: By incorporating health communication and social marketing principles, health information technology can assist citizens of all ages to learn about preventive measures for injuries and violence. The New York State Department of Health provides a good list of website resources.

For more information about how the Health Informatics Information Technology Section can collaborate with communities, visit APHA website, and go to the HIIT Section and contact the Chair of the Health Informatics Information Technology (HIIT) Section, Christopher Williams at cwilliams@eqhs.org for additional information.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Public Health and Public Safety – A New Approach to the Nation’s Drug Control Strategy

Today's guest blog was written by R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy .

Drug use and its consequences takes its toll in our Nation – in 2007, approximately 28,000 people in America died from unintentional drug overdoses – that’s about one person every 19 minutes and, unfortunately, this number is on the rise. And the drug problem doesn’t just harm individuals, but others around them as well. We know, for instance, that over eight million young people in the United States live with at least one parent who is dependent on alcohol or drugs, putting them at risk for physical or emotional abuse. In addition, visits by individuals to hospital emergency rooms involving the misuse or abuse of pharmaceutical drugs have doubled over the past five years and have now exceeded the number of visits involving illicit drugs for the third year in a row.

To address these serious challenges, the Obama Administration has embarked on a fundamental refocusing of America’s approach to drug control. Our efforts must be balanced and focused on treating the disease of drug addiction and we must address the drug problem in general as both a public health and public safety issue.

In support of this effort, the Obama Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy emphasizes drug prevention education and drug treatment, as well as reforming the criminal justice system and supporting international partnerships to disrupt international drug trafficking organizations. We’re putting real resources behind these efforts. Despite the difficult budget environment, the President has requested increases in funding for drug prevention education by $123 million and drug treatment programs by $99 million for Fiscal Year 2012. By taking a comprehensive, public health approach to this problem, we can reduce unintentional overdoses, workplace injuries, drugged driving, and other negative health outcomes while protecting our communities from drug related crime. But we need your help.

As I’ve noted before, our Strategy requires strong collaboration between the Federal Government and those working at the local level. One issue on which we can work together is drugged driving. As public health experts, you are well aware of the dangers of driving after consuming drugs or alcohol, including adverse effects on judgment, reaction time, motor skills, and memory. But new data are revealing an alarming prevalence of individuals driving after consuming illicit drugs. One national study found that one in eight nighttime weekend drivers tested positive for an illicit drug. Also, we found that one in three drivers with known drug-test results who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 tested positive for drugs. The Obama Administration has set a goal of reducing the prevalence of drugged driving by 10 percent by 2015, but we can’t do it without the support and expertise of the public health community.

During National Public Health Week, ONDCP is proud to join the American Public Health Association in recognizing the outstanding public health work going on across the county. We recognize the importance of working together to reduce injuries and promote safe choices. But most of all, we hope that you join us in helping to reduce drug use and its consequences. Your public health expertise is part of our strategy for building a safer and healthier America.

Friday, April 8, 2011

TGIF and Happy National Public Health Week Student Day (NPHW) 2011!

Today's guest blog is by Vanisa Verma, Student Co-Chair Elect to APHA's Community Health Planning & Policy Development Section, Spring 2011 APHA Intern and Graduate Student at Saint Louis University School of Public Health.

Here’s to another successful week of public health awareness and a nationwide effort to promote safer living throughout all of our communities. Today’s theme is safety ‘In Your Community’.

The community plays a critical role in advancing better injury prevention efforts and safety practices. Throughout the week, we’ve focused on how everyday Americans can start small and think big in preventing injuries and violence. Today we celebrate the collective power communities have in creating a higher standard of safety and healthy living as a nation.

Where we live, learn, work and play matters to our health. Communities that promote active living with safe, equitable access to sidewalks and bike paths, health care facilities, grocery stores, and parks and playgrounds make it easier for families and individuals to make healthy lifestyle choices. A community is only as strong as its members, which makes every person important in advancing prevention!

Start small by joining your neighborhood watch program, get involved with school leaders to include prevention programs or become a champion of injury prevention in your community!

Think big by working alongside or even leading the number of community-driven initiatives that keep our homes, workplaces, public areas and streets safe! These can include a community safety task force, violence intervention and prevention, suicide prevention program, and programs to help foster positive parent-child relationships.

It only takes a moment for an injury to happen, but it also only takes a moment to prevent them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Be a Part of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety!

Today's guest blog is by Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH, North American Director, Make Roads Safe Campaign for Global Road Safety, Road Safety Director, FIA Foundation Chair, ICEHS Section of APHA

The United Nations has proclaimed 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, making traffic crashes an international public health priority. There's no better time than National Public Health Week to join the Decade efforts!

1.3 million people die and 50+ million people are seriously injured every year on the roads worldwide. WHO estimates that by 2030, traffic related injuries will be the 5th leading cause of death worldwide. More people will die on the roads than will die of HIV/AIDS! But we can do something about this!

If we start implementing proven interventions- such as building safer cars and roads, passing good traffic laws, promoting strong enforcement and education - a Safe Systems Approach involving the road, the vehicle, and the user- we can build a safety culture and have a huge effect on future deaths. The Safe Systems approach is also the basis of the UN Decade of Action 'Five Pillar' Plan.

The Road Safety 'Tag' The Road Safety Tag is the official symbol for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety which begins on May 11, 2011. Just as the AIDS symbol is more than a red ribbon and the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon is more than a pink piece of cloth, you can help make the Tag more than just a little yellow piece of metal.
* Go to www.decadeofaction.org to download the Road Safety Tag and learn more!
* Wear a Road Safety Tag yourself (you will be in good company - with President Clinton, Mayor Bloomberg, Aung San Suu Kyi).

The Decade of Action for Road Safety is our opportunity to commit to making our communities safer where we live - and to show our concern for others suffering around the world. Please join us!

Bicyclists Safety

The summer is right around the corner, bringing with it outdoor activities and events. One of the more popular activities for adults and children alike is cycling. According to the 2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors which was sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approximately 27.3 percent of the population age 16 or older rode a bicycle at least once during the summer of 2002. However, while cycling should be encouraged for individuals of all ages and skills, it is important to remember these important bicycle safety tips provided by our colleagues at the Utah Department of Health. Remember, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists.

· Obey all traffic laws, stop signs and signals, traffic lights, and other traffic controls. Bike riders must obey the same laws as motor vehicles. If you want the respect of motorists, you must show respect for traffic laws.

· Always wear a properly fitted helmet - it could save your life.

· Ride predictably in a straight line. Do not jump back and forth from the sidewalk and the roadway. Do not weave in and out of parked or stopped cars.

· Ride on the right side of the road, riding in the same direction as the flow of traffic.

· Be visible. Wear bright and reflective clothing if possible.

· When riding a bike at night, your bike should have a headlight, a rear red reflector/taillight, and side reflectors. These are required in most states, though regulations vary.

· Follow lane markings. Do not turn left from the right lane and do not ride straight through a right turn-only lane.

· Use hand signals to let other road users know what you are doing and where you are planning to go.

· Do not ride in a driver's blind spot. If a car is slowing down, do not pass it on the right side - the driver may be turning right and may not see you.

· Ride single file in traffic except when passing another bicyclist.

· Yield to pedestrians when riding on a sidewalk.

· Be respectful of other road users. Courtesy is contagious.

For more information, please check out one of the many informative websites available, such as the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, or the League of American Bicyclists.

The case for safety

Today's guest blog is by Jurek G. Grabowski, Director of Research at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

All deaths due to unintentional injuries are preventable. Don't believe me? Take a look at commercial aviation. There were zero U.S. airline fatalities last year. In fact, 2010 was the third year in the past four to be free of passenger deaths, and the fourth such year since 2002. That makes the years between 2000 and 2010 of one of the safest decades ever to fly in this country. Much of it can be attributed to the so-called "safety culture" that was adopted by the aviation industry and governmental agencies over the last three decades. Safety culture can loosely be defined as a social environment in which safety is greatly valued and meticulously pursued. Although there is more research needed to define all the factors that make up and define safety culture, there is no uncertainty that the results are defined by less death and less pain people suffer due to injuries. It is also certain that "safety culture" is not just a one-time thing. It is something that individuals and organizations need to cultivate, discuss and practice year in and year out. And new data show this mentality is starting to gain traction.

Last week, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) early estimates show that traffic deaths in the U.S. have reached the lowest levels on record since 1949. When you closely examine the 2010 data you can see that large decline in the first six months of the year was the biggest factor of this remarkable decline in traffic fatalities. But, we can't rest on our recent successes. Now is time to double down on a commitment to "safety culture" not only in traffic safety but all types of injury because all unintentional injuries are preventable.

Alcohol increases risk of injuries

Today's blog entry is an article by Cheryl J. Cherpitel, BSN, DrPH.

There’s no question that drinking and driving is a deadly concoction Though often overlooked, drinking can also increase the likelihood of injuries related to fires, drowning, violence and more.

People are more likely to engage in risky behavior when under the influence than when they are sober. Across the world, alcohol is one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths. According to a 2004 study, injuries are involved in 46 percent of all deaths due to alcohol and 42 percent of morbidity.

Emergency room studies have also found that compared to other patients, injured patients are more likely to have positive blood alcohol levels when they arrive at the ER. (PDF) Patients with alcohol-related injuries are more than two and a half times more likely to return to the hospital for continued injuries and even have a slower recovery time due to the alcohol’s effect on the body. (PDF)

Eliminating alcohol could lower the number of violence-related injuries as much as 43 percent compared to injuries from other causes.

As we celebrate National Public Health Week, keep in mind that alcohol-related injuries can be prevented altogether. Next time you’re out on the town, take a moment and think about the simple steps you can take to avoid injury. Check out some quick facts on injuries and alcohol (PDF) and visit the NPHW website for additional injury and violence prevention tips.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Key Resources for Parents to Help Their Children Stay Safe

Today’s guest blog is by Angela D. Mickalide, PhD, MCHES, Director of Research and Programs, Safe Kids USA.

As a mother of two teenagers and a staff member for Safe Kids USA , I am reminded daily of how important my role as a parent has been in keeping my children safe and injury free. Some of it is common sense, but also much of what we as parents need to do is advance planning to take the necessary precautions to keep our children safe.

At Safe Kids USA, our mission is simple – to help prevent injuries to children. It’s a mission that you might think every parent and caregiver should have. But sadly, preventable injuries are the greatest killer of kids from ages 1 to 14. More than 5,000 children die in the U.S. each year from injuries that could have been prevented, and another 6 million kids sustain an injury serious enough to seek medical attention!

Motor vehicle-related accidents; drowning; fire and burns; sports-related accidents; choking, suffocation, and falls are among the leading causes for these injuries.

What we’ve found is that injuries to children can be avoided if parents and caregivers are educated on some very important and easy steps to keep their children safe. For example, on April 17, we will launch a national sports safety campaign supported by Johnson & Johnson that will focus on ways to keep young athletes healthy and injury free.

In all, we have more than 20 public awareness campaigns that we offer parents and caregivers through our network of 600 safety coalitions and chapters that operate in all 50 states. Since our work began in 1987, the death rate for children 14 and under in the U.S has declined by 45 percent. However, more work still needs to be done in preventing injuries to children at home, at play and while they are on their way!

For more Information: www.safekids.org.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Eye Injuries and Playing it Safe

Each year in the United States, there are approximately 600,000 documented sports-related eye injuries. Of these, roughly 72 percent occur in individuals younger than 25 years, and 43 percent in those younger than 15 years.

To support National Public Health Week, the American Public Health Association’s Vision Care Section is emphasizing the importance of protective eyewear for children participating in sports. Sports play a significant role in the lives of most children. While involvement in sports offers a variety of health benefits, participation always carries the risk of injuries, including eye injuries. With children engaged in so many athletic activities, the need for protective eyewear has never been more urgent.

As a parent, caregiver, teacher, school nurse or coach, you can help prevent children’s sports eye injuries by taking the following steps:

1. Know that almost ALL sports-related eye injuries are preventable. Whatever the sport, whatever the child’s age…appropriate protective eyewear is the best defense against eye injury!

2. Learn about the eye injury risks associated with sports before allowing children to participate.

3. Consult an eye doctor for protective eyewear recommendations before enrolling a child in any sports program.

4. Discourage participation in high-risk contacts sports such as boxing, since adequate eye protection does not yet exist for this sport.

5. Only enroll children in after-school organized sports through school districts, community centers, park districts and recreation centers where adults supervise all sports activity.

6. Meet with a child’s coach or athletic trainer to make sure that proper procedures are in place to deal with a child’s eye injury should one occur.

7. Familiarize themselves with the warning signs of an eye injury and know when to seek treatment.

The following symptoms should be treated as medical emergencies – requiring immediate attention at a hospital or by an eye doctor:

· Blurred vision that does not clear with blinking

· Loss of all or part of the field of vision

· Sharp stabbing or deep throbbing pain

· Double vision

· Something on the cornea (the clear membrane that covers the iris)

· Cut or torn eyelid

· Cut, scratched or punctured eye

· One eye that does not move as completely as the other

· One eye that protrudes more than the other

· Layer of blood between the cornea and iris.

The American Public Health Association addresses this issue in its “Promoting the Use of Protective Eyewear for Children in Sports” policy statement. Among those efforts promoted in this statement are recommendations to enact state legislation across the country that would require eye protection for children playing sports; to encourage health educators and facilitators of sports programs to teach the value of quality fitted sports protective eyewear; to conduct studies on the cost-effectiveness of sports protective eyewear; and the employment of risk management strategies by insurance companies promoting the use of protective eyewear.

Upwards of 90 percent of sports eye injuries can be prevented through the proper use of protective eyewear. Injuries can range from temporary to permanent vision loss. This is indeed a public health concern that must be addressed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

One-a-Day Action Steps for Children’s Product Safety

Today’s guest blog is by Jessica Gawrysiak of Kids In Danger (KID). KID is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting children by improving children’s product safety.

KID’s new report, Moving toward Safety, finds that there were 160 recalls for children’s products in 2010, covering over 44 million individual products from last year alone – most of which remain undetected in homes and child care facilities.

During National Public Health Week, check your children’s products for recalls and other safety issues with these easy action steps from KID, one for each day.

1. Take inventory of your children’s products for safety. Use KID’s Child Product Inventory Sheet to track products you buy and use to care for your child. Check your list against the one maintained by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and sign up for CPSC’s alerts to stay up-to-date.

2. Visit the new public database website. Launched on March 11, CPSC’s new publicly-accessible product safety database will, for the first time, give you a place to submit and view report of problems with products, or incidents and injuries associated with consumer products, to help you learn of and remove unsafe children’s products before someone gets hurt. Visit KID’s blog post on the database to learn more.

3. Check your crib for safety. In December, CPSC adopted the world’s toughest crib standards following recalls of millions of cribs due to entrapment deaths and injuries. While cribs will now be tested to rigorous standards, it is important to check your crib for recalls and other safety issues. Learn more about the new standards and what they mean to you.

4. Spread the word. Sign up for KID’s safety email alerts and encourage friends and family to do the same. Pass on the important message of children’s safety in your community.

5. Prepare for yard sale season: With nicer weather quickly approaching, yard sale season is upon us. Follow these Yard Sale Safety Tips and check to make sure your donations are safe.

6. Understand car seat safety: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is now advising parents to keep children in rear-facing car seats until age 2 or until the child reaches maximum height and weight limit for the seat. Learn more. Read other car seat safety tips here and make sure to check your car seat for recalls at the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website.

7. Support KID: KID is proud to report a banner year in children’s product safety with tough new testing standards, the first formal warning against sleep positioners, the launch of the new public database and a ban on the dangerous drop-side crib design going into effect in June. Consider making a gift today to help KID continue our lifesaving work. Download this flyer for more ideas on how to support KID!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Preventing Injuries in the Health Care Setting

Today's blog entry is an article by Kathryn A. Swink, MPH, CPHQ, Research Associate to the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems.

Each year, nearly 385,000 health care personnel working in hospitals are exposed to bloodborne pathogens like HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, as a result of inadvertent needlestick and sharps injuries. Fortunately, the risk of disease transmission following a sharps injury is relatively low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • the risk of Hepatitis B infection is between 6 and 30 percent following a sharps exposure. However, immunization via the hepatitis B vaccine makes infection virtually impossible.
  • the risk of Hepatitis C infection is between 1.5 and 2 percent for those exposed.
  • the risk of HIV infection is roughly 0.3 percent following a sharps exposure.

Although the risk of developing an infection is rare, hospitals across the country, including members of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH), actively work to prevent sharps injuries among their patients and healthcare personnel. One of the most important ways of preventing sharps injuries among healthcare personnel is through education, not only in the methods to prevent an injury, but also in the necessary precautions that should be followed if an exposure occurs.

The CDC has a very informative webpage on “Sharps Safety for Healthcare Settings” with helpful education and training materials and tools to plan and implement “Sharps Safety” programs in the healthcare setting. Additionally, you can check out some of the educational materials about occupational hazards, including sharps injuries provided to employees of NAPH member Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Knowledge of safety precautions is key to preventing sharps injuries and exposure to infections. During National Public Health Week, remember the old saying, “No safety, know pain; know safety, no pain.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

National Youth Violence Prevention Week: March 21st-25th

There’s been a lot of talk recently about youth violence with everything from school and cyber bulling to suicides and dating violence. And for good reason. Youth violence is the second leading cause of death for young people aged 10 to 24 and is the leading cause of death in urban areas. And it all could be preventable.

In fact according to a 2007 American Journal of Preventive Medicine Article communities play a critical role in the prevention of youth violence and can work with schools to reduce violence by 15 percent in as little as six months through universal school-based violence prevention efforts. This week, we recognize National Youth Violence Prevention Week. The week aims to raise awareness to educators, students, teachers, school administrators, counselors, school resource officers, school staff, parents and the public on effective ways to prevent or reduce youth violence. Join countless public health advocates and get involved. Check out available resources here.

We encourage you to continue the conversation in early April and celebrate National Public Health Week with us.

The National Public Health Week campaign echoes the week’s message of violence prevention in all aspects of the community by promoting actions big and small including:
  • working with school leaders to implement school violence and bullying programs.
  • calling the police or local child protective services if you suspect an older adult has been abused or a child neglected.
  • work with community leaders to establish a community safety task force.
  • developing a suicide prevention program that encourages community members to inquire and respond to potential suicide situations.

To learn more about actions you can take to help prevent youth violence and raise awareness of injury and violence prevention visit the National Public Health Week website at www.nphw.org.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Become a NPHW Partner !

Join APHA in observing National Public Health Week 2011, Safety is No Accident: Live Injury-Free, the first full week of April as a national, state or local partner. We can all make a difference and work as a unified voice speaking on behalf of this important public health issue. Becoming a partner is free, simple and shows your commitment to an injury-free nation. Partners help APHA disseminate messages and materials at the state and local level, and to the general public.

Want to learn more about how you can become involved in this year’s campaign? View our partner’s webinar. If you’re a student or campus professor, you can also view the student’s webinar to find out more about activities related to students and APHA’s Student Assembly as they gear up to celebrate the second annual National Public Health Week Student Day.

And whether you’re a student or partner, be sure to download this year’s Partner Toolkit. The easy-to-use guide is filled with planning materials and tips including:

· Injury and Violence prevention talking points
· Injury and Violence prevention fact sheets
· Sample media outreach materials
· Suggested community events including quick how to’s
· Legislative information
· Sample Proclamation
· Sample Op-ed
· Sample LTE
· Media toolkit
· Sample social media materials

Let everyone know how you plan to celebrate National Public Health Week! Submit your NPHW events to the online calendar and let the public and media know what is happening during NPHW in communities across the country.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New KID report shows progress on children’s product safety; highlights importance of public database

Today's guest blog is by Kids in Danger (KID). KID is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting children by improving children's product safety.

KID has released a new resource for consumers, Moving towards Safety, a report on 2010 recalls and CPSC actions that impact safety. The report shows that while the number of recalls and the number of children hurt and killed by unsafe products is cause for concern, there were marked improvements to product safety oversight in 2010 as a result of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and other CPSC actions.

Children’s products still recalled frequently: There was a recall for children’s products roughly every two days in 2010. In total, 160 recalls accounted for over 44 million individual toys, cribs, sweatshirts, strollers and more. That’s an increase of twelve percent from 2009 in recalls and 110% in units recalled. Download the full report (pdf) to review the rest of the findings.

Steps in the right direction: At first glance these numbers seem to indicate that the state of children’s product safety had worsened in the last year. However, through CPSIA and CPSC actions, we’ve seen heartening improvements to product safety oversight in 2010:

  • CPSC and FDA issued a warning on sleep positioners that promoted most retailers to stop selling these unnecessary and dangerous products.
  • CPSC issued alerts on the safe use of baby slings.

KID believes that many of these actions will not only reduce recalls in the future, but make it more likely recalled products will be retrieved from use.

Let there be light: The mounting injuries and deaths associated with unsafe children’s products confirm that recall information is still not effectively reaching families and caregivers. To this point, the public has had virtually no access to injury and incident reports submitted to CPSC. The way it works, CPSC has to get manufacturers to agree to a voluntary recall, a process that takes time, and in the interim caregivers continue to unknowingly use products that pose dangerous hazards to children. We see the evidence of this from the report: For nursery products, the category of children’s products with the highest number of recalls, there were 108 reports of injury prior to recalls. One toy, the Step2 Push Buggy, had 28 individual reports of injuries before the recall. And many of the deaths had reports of injury or incidents of product failure before the deaths.

As required through CPSIA, CPSC is preparing to launch a publicly accessibly database that will help tremendously in this area. Set to go live on March 11th, this database will provide consumers with a place to report injury and safety information, and provide consumers, researchers and the CPSC with important information on injury trends and emerging hazards. The new database will allow consumers to access reports about unsafe products in a timely manner, so that preventable injuries can be avoided.

However, U.S. House of Representatives has adopted an amendment to a spending bill that defunds the CPSC database. If accepted in the Senate version of the funding bill, this will once again drop the veil of silence over injury reports collected from consumers. KID urges consumers to contact your senators and tell them to oppose these attempts to hijack safety and ask them to put the safety of our children first.

How to protect your children: KID recommends that parents check the products used with their children at www.cpsc.gov and sign up for safety updates at http://www.kidsindanger.org/. In addition, parents should report problems with a product both to the manufacturer and to CPSC at the new database, http://www.saferproducts.gov/, and urge elected representatives to protect CPSIA’s provisions and make children’s product safety a priority.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tweet With Us

Promote NPHW events in your community and share information about living injury-free using social media. Social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube & Flickr, can help take your organizations NPHW efforts to the next level. Plus each of these easy to use websites can help you reach different audiences. Hundreds of people are just a click of the mouse away!

How about a few Twitter tricks of the trade to help you spread the message.

  • Consistency: Tweet multiple times per day leading up to NPHW. This will engage your audience & build up interest and anticipation for National Public Health Week
  • Mix Content: You can tweet facts, share websites of reliable resources (eg: www.cdc.gov , www.nphw.org ), post quizzes and events in your neighborhood.
  • Interaction: Ask questions, allow for comments and engage your followers in a dialogue. Ask your followers to share their safety tips, and what they plan to do improve safety
  • Use hash tag: With every tweet, add #NPHW. This will make it easier for others to find your organization, learn about your events and the information you share.
  • Theme: Each day of this year’s NPHW 2011 has a particular theme. You can share facts resources and other info according to this year’s theme. Here are some sample tweets for each day of NPHW.
Monday (Safety at Home):
  • Four out of five US fire deaths were residential fires in 2008. Test your smoke detector today. Learn more at www.nphw.org. #NPHW
Tuesday (Safety at Work):
  • On average, 15 workers die each day from traumatic injuries. Make sure your work environment is safe. Learn more at www.nphw.org. #NPHW
Wednesday (Safety at Play):
  • Always wear a helmet. Wearing one reduces the risk of head injury by 85%. Learn more at www.nphw.org. #NPHW
Thursday (Safety on the Move):
  • In ‘08 nearly 6,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. Don’t text or call while driving. Learn more at www.nphw.org. #NPHW
Friday (Safety in Your Community):
  • Keep all firearms locked and unloaded and store ammunition in a separate location to ensure safety. Learn more at www.nphw.org. #NPHW

Plus, be sure to chat with us on Monday, April 4, at 1pm ET for our first-ever live online Twitter chat about safety and injury prevention as part of NPHW. Become part of the discussion by simply including #NPHW in your tweet. Post comments, asks questions, share ideas – all are welcome to join!Happy Tweeting!

Friday, February 25, 2011

“Buckle Up For Safety, Buckle Up!”

Anyone remember that catchy “buckle up” PSA from the 60’s? Anyone? With motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death among those ages 5-34 in the U.S, the message can certainly still resonate even today.

Seat belts are the single most effective and easiest way to reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths. According to the National Highway and Safety Administration fastening your seatbelt can reduce your chances of injury by approximately 50 percent.

Everyone should take the life-saving measure and buckle their seatbelt. Period. And in case you’re traveling with little ones, here are a few tips to pack before take to the streets:
  • CDC recommends that children ages 12 and under should be seated in the back seat.
  • NEVER seat a child in front of an airbag because they are more likely to suffer more possibly fatal injuries with an airbag.
  • The safest spot to seat a child in the backseat is in the middle of the row.
  • Rear-facing car seats are ideal for infants till age 1 and front-facing car seats are ideal for children up till age 4.
  • Booster seats can be used till age 12, but remember to check weight and height requirements!

Driving can be fun when going on a road trip or a relaxing cruise downtown-but it can also be dangerous. Take these safety tips into consideration next time you get into a seat. Together, we can learn to live injury-free because, remember, safety is NO accident. To learn more about road safety visit our website at www.nphw.org also check out these great online resources.

Friday, February 18, 2011

2011 Toolkit Just a Click Away

So you want to get involved in this year’s National Public Health Week? Great! Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. This year’s NPHW team has put together a handy 2011 Partner Toolkit to get you on your way. And it’s just a click away. So don’t delay. Ok, we digress.

The toolkit (PDF) is chuck full of valuable information and resources on injury and violence prevention to help you organize an event, reach members of the media and meet with local lawmakers. Here’s a look at what’s included:

· Fact sheets
· Safety talking points
· Suggested community events
· Media outreach materials
· Tips for working with media outlets
· Suggested social media involvement
· Legislative information
· Resources

Each event, proclamation, retweet, post and online message is another step towards improving your health and the health of your community. Download the toolkit today. Also, make sure to stay up-to-date on all things National Public Health Week by following us on Twitter , Facebook and remembering to share our message with others.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Today’s guest blog is by Jessica Wehrman, communications manager of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. AAPCC represents the 57 poison control centers across the United States and works to educate the public about poison centers and poison safety.

You can’t have a conversation about public health without talking about poisoning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poisoning is the second-leading cause of accidental death in this country after car accidents. In 2009, more than 4 million people called their local poison centers, either to ask about poisons or report a poison exposure. Painkillers, personal care products and cleaning products were among the substances most often involved in poison exposures that year.

Poisoning is a very real and very present danger. It’s an epidemic with no signs of waning, but it’s one that offers easy and authoritative help: Poison centers.

You can connect to your local poison center anywhere in the United States by calling 800-222-1222. Poison centers offer free, confidential medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week and take calls in more than 150 languages and from the hearing impaired.

By calling 800-222-1222, you can, in the majority of cases, avoid an unnecessary and costly trip to the hospital. Calling a poison center is easier than unloading your dishwasher or ordering a pizza. And the peace of mind that comes from making the call is far more rewarding.

So why should you call? Many people only think to call poison centers if their child gets into the medicine cabinet. That’s one reason, but there are many other reasons to pick up the phone.

Call your poison center if:
·You’ve made a medicine mistake.
·You have questions about how two medicines might interact.
·You’ve been bitten by a critter.
·You’ve mixed household cleaners and are worried about the fumes.
·You have any questions about poisons or possible poisons.

You can also help yourself by working to prevent poisoning. Here are a few ways to do so:
·Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.
·Don’t take medicine in the dark or without your glasses.
·Read and follow the directions on the label before taking any medicine.
·If you have questions about the intended use of your medicine, contact your doctor.
·Talk to your doctor before taking natural or herbal supplements.
·Never use food containers such as cups or bottles to store household and chemical products.
·Store food and household and chemical products in separate areas.
·Keep products that could be poisonous in their original containers.
·Remember – there’s no such thing as “child-proof.” Still, make it harder for children to get
at possible poisons by using safety latches on drawers or cabinets.

Keep this number by your phone: 800-222-1222. When in doubt, check it out. It doesn’t have to be an emergency to call. Poison center calls are free and confidential, and in return, you’ll get advice from a medical expert. It’s one of the best deals in health care today. And all you have to do is remember to call. To learn more about poison prevention visit http://www.blogger.com/www.aapcc.organd join APHA in celebration of National Public Health Week.

“The American Public Health Association encourages you to take action today and help keep key programs such as Poison Control Centers protected from sever budget cuts by telling your representative to protect public health funding."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Join us for National Public Health Week 2011!

Drum roll, please! APHA is happy to announce the theme of this year’s National Public Health Week, “Safety is No Accident: Live Injury-free.” We just launched our new National Public Health Week 2011 website, Join us as we celebrate NPHW, April 4-10, and work towards creating a safer and healthier nation. There are a number of ways you and countless public health advocates across the country can help promote safety and prevent injury and violence in your own community throughout the week. Get involved and help us make injury and violence prevention a priority in all areas of life: at work, at home, at play, in your community and anywhere people are on the move. Visit us at http://www.nphw.org/. While there download logos, wallpaper, talking points, find an event in your area using our interactive map of events, sign up to become a partner and much, much more!

Here are a few ideas:

Host a National Public Health Week event. Identify officials who have been vocal on issues related to injury prevention and invite them to partner in a community event. Hold a child safety seat demonstration to ensure safety seats are installed correctly. Feeling chatty? Tune into APHA’s #NPHW Twitter Chat on Monday, April 4, at 1p.m. ET by including #NPHW in your tweet. Reach out to local media. Submit a letter to the editor about the importance of injury and violence prevention. Highlight the stories of local heroes who have made a real difference in improving the safety of a community. Partner with a local college or university to promote public health student day, April 8th 2011. Help promote safety and prevent injuries and violence across the nation by taking action within your community-Everyone has a role to play. Join APHA during National Public Health Week 2011 as we work together to create a safer nation.