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CDC Injury Center: Director's View Blog

The purpose of this blog is to foster public discussion about injury and violence prevention and response and gain perspectives of those we serve.

What’s The Weather Got To Do With It?

Categories: CDC Injury Center

Photo: the sun.

It may seem rather unusual to talk about injuries and weather in the same context, but extreme weather can pose significant risks for many kinds of injury.  Currently, many parts of the United States are experiencing a major heat wave, with record-setting heat and heat indices over the next few weeks.  As we have seen in the recent past, deaths are occurring from heat-related and possibly from participation in outside activities that increase the risk of heat-related illness.

Summertime Getaways—Keep Them Happy and Safe

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety

As summer begins, you may be thinking of vacation plans—spending time with family and friends, visiting favorite vacation places, and exploring new locations and activities.  Many of us can recall heading back to school in the fall and being faced with the inevitable report on “what I did on my summer vacation.”  I’m not sure that this is still the norm, with near instantaneous communication about travel and other activities and places visited, but however you report your summer activities, we hope that your report will include happy memories.  A key ingredient to a good vacation is staying safe, no matter what you do. 

One Small Step Together: One Giant Leap for Our Nation’s Health

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety, Injury Response, Motor Vehicle Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury, Violence Prevention

Progress Through PartnershipsLast week, National Public Health Week (NPHW) focused on injury and violence prevention – keeping people safe and realizing the goal of ensuring that people live injury-free.  It was a week where a great deal of attention was focused on injury and violence and the health and societal effects of both.  The joint Safe States Alliance, Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury (SAVIR) & CDC’s Injury Center Conference in Coralville, Iowa brought together over 350 injury and violence prevention practitioners and researchers, creating a forum for research informing practice and practice informing research, and an opportunity to explore evidence-based policy and practice.  It was a great week, and the first time that NPHW focused on injury and violence prevention.

National Public Health Week 2011: Safety is No Accident

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety, Injury Response, Motor Vehicle Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury, Violence Prevention

Dr. Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN

Dr. Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, MSN

Looking back at my experience in the field of injury prevention and control, I can easily see how important partnerships have been in our efforts to decrease the toll that injury takes on people of all ages.  We have come a long way over the past few decades, but face new challenges in enabling people to live injury free lives.  We face the challenges of an aging population, with increased risk of falls; various forms of violence, including violence among youth which so often has its roots in early childhood, and has health impacts far beyond the immediate effect of injuries related to violence; motor vehicle related injuries that affect vehicle occupants as well as those who share the road with motor vehicles; emerging problems with narcotic prescription drug abuse and overdoses; suicide and injuries with long-term effects among our troops who are returning from their missions.  While efforts in these areas may involve different partners and different approaches, they are all amenable to a public health approach. 

Mom, why do I still have to sit in this “baby” car seat?

Categories: Motor Vehicle Safety

Guest blogger – Arlene Greenspan, DrPH, MS, MPH
Senior Scientist, Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention Team, NCIPC

For the most up-to-date child passenger safety guidelines, please visit our Child Passenger Safety web page.

Family with children in carseats

"Although installing and correctly using car and booster seats may seem simple enough, NHTSA estimates that close to 3 out of 4 parents do not restrain their children correctly."

My sons, Jason and Kenny, are now 17 and 21 and when I think back about their infant and toddler car seat experience, I think about how far we have come in addressing traffic safety issues.  By the time my sons were 2 or 3 years old, children were already in booster seats.  And by 3 or 4 years of age, adult seat belt use was common.  While children are now using car and booster seats longer, one thing hasn’t changed; children want to be “big kids”.

Global Action to Improve Road Safety: Sharing Lessons and Saving Lives

Categories: Motor Vehicle Safety

"...the No. 1 cause of death for healthy U.S. citizens who travel abroad is traffic crashes. They are among the 1.3 million people who die each year on the world’s roads."

...the No. 1 cause of death for healthy U.S. citizens who travel abroad is traffic crashes. They are among the 1.3 million people who die each year on the world’s roads.

I was stuck. Standing on a street corner, I found it impossible to cross to the other side. No crosswalks. No lights to stop the traffic.  With cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, bikes, pedestrians, dogs and chickens filling every available space on the road, there simply was not a safe path across.  Getting into a taxi didn’t improve my safety situation. As the driver entered the darting traffic, I reached to buckle the safety belt – and found none. Fighting to steady myself in the careening vehicle, I contemplated getting another cab, but thought it a wiser choice to stay silent as to ensure my driver’s eyes and focus remained on the heaving roadway before us.

Stop Overdose Deaths Involving Prescription Drugs: A Multi-faceted Approach

Categories: Home & Recreational Safety

Pill bottle

Nationally, deaths from drug overdose were second only to motor vehicle crashes among leading causes of unintentional injury death in 2007.

Guest blogger – Len Paulozzi, MD, MPH

Heath Ledger. Anna Nicole Smith. I’m sure you saw the news stories when these celebrities died unexpectedly. Did you also hear about Shannon Anderson? Or Derek Barnes? Probably not. Yet they—and thousands more—share a significant connection to the celebrities. They all died of unintentional drug poisoning.

The Brain: The Final Frontier of Science – CDC’s Efforts to Track and Prevent TBI Among Americans

Categories: Traumatic Brain Injury

Do you know someone who has sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?  Is this someone close to you?  Do you wonder why the injured person may sometimes act differently or not like themselves?  Some days they appear to feel fine – there are no signs of the injury.  Then, there are days when your loved one may be irritable, confused, forgetful, anxious, dizzy, tired, sensitive to light, or sad?  These are just a few of the after-effects that a loved one may experience as a result of a (TBI).  What is TBI?  A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a penetrating head injury.  A TBI does not just affect the injured person, but also has far reaching effects into that person’s life and into the lives of family members and communities.

Teen Dating Violence Prevention: On-line Tips and Tools for Educators

Categories: Violence Prevention

Relationships are the essence of our lives. Our interactions with family, friends, teachers, co-workers and significant others are critical to our overall well-being. As a parent, I strive to teach my two daughters,13-year-old Lisa and 11-year-old Claire, how to build healthy relationships. Together we talk about the qualities of a good friend, how they can be a good friend and behaviors harmful to friendships. Importantly, their dad and I seek to model healthy relationships with each other and with them.

Emergency Response to Haiti Earthquake: Save Lives and Minimize Consequences of Injury

Categories: Injury Response

Map of HaitiWitnessing devastation like what we have seen in Haiti since the earthquake on January 12 leaves everyone asking what little bit they can do to help.  What is certain is that a natural disaster of this scale requires a coordinated response across many disciplines and a sustained international effort from public health and relief organizations.  The CDC Injury Center is supporting an agency wide effort to work with partners and immediately address the public health needs of the Haiti earthquake survivors.

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