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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.

An Opportunistic Intervention: Reduces Risky Behavior and Saves Lives

Categories: Injury Response

Whether at home, on the road, or in relationships, people who drink too much are at a higher risk of sustaining injury or causing injury to others.  Excessive drinking is the leading risk factor for injury in the United States and the third leading cause of preventable death. The CDC’s Injury Center supports alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI), a clinical preventive service now provided in many Level I trauma centers.  The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (COT) requires Level I trauma centers to have a mechanism to identify patients whose drinking is unhealthy and provide on-the-spot brief counseling. This requirement of screening and brief intervention is an evidence-based two-step process: conducting a screening and implementing brief intervention if the screening is positive for risky alcohol use.

Three Words I Love to Hear from My 16 Year Old

Categories: Motor Vehicle Safety

Just over a month ago, I joined the ranks of so many parents who have teens on the roads. Yet, even as I consider how well my son’s driving has developed this past year, I know many driving skills are obtained on the road, through experience.  Simply put, driving is a high risk activity, and especially risky for teenage drivers.  Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group? Those numbers translate to an alarming statistic that nearly 11 teens die in fatal car crashes every day on U.S. roads.  I’m challenged to change these outcomes, both in my role as the Acting Director of the CDC’s Injury Center and, most personally, as a parent to my 16 year old son, Nick.  

Break the Silence: Stop the Violence

Categories: Violence Prevention

Not long ago, we lost a true pioneer:  Gail Burns-Smith passed away unexpectedly on September 5th, 2009.  To all of us who work to prevent violence, Burns-Smith was a hero, and she is particulary in our hearts as we begin the month of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, without her.  For more than 25 years, Burns-Smith worked tirelessly to focus attention on violence against women and to bring domestic violence from behind its closed doors into the public consciousness. 

Make Safety a Priority on Your School Agenda

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

You’ve probably noticed some changes in your communities over the past several weeks:  yellow buses are in the mix of morning commuters; significantly fewer children are out and about during the day; store shelves fill with a myriad of school supplies, only to quickly empty again. Yes, once again, school is back in session; and safety is back on the agenda for parents and educators alike.

Understanding Teen Drivers Is Key to Safety

Categories: Motor Vehicle Safety

As parents, we share our children’s pride when they earn their driver’s license. For most of us, though, our overriding emotion as we watch our teens drive away is concern.

Our concern is justified. Statistics show that the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.

Preventing Injury Consequences

Categories: Injury Response

Our goal at the Injury Center is to prevent injuries. Yet we know that despite all of our efforts, injuries will occur. So we believe it also is our professional responsibility to help ensure the best response when they do.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Is Preventable

Categories: Violence Prevention

April was Child Abuse Prevention Month, and we joined with our partners to increase awareness of child maltreatment prevention. Of course, at the Injury Center, we focus on child maltreatment every day of every month. We are motivated by a deep belief that child maltreatment is completely preventable.

Working to Prevent Sexual Violence

Categories: Violence Prevention

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and people throughout the world participate in Denim Day, a campaign to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault. Wearing denim as a sign of protest, participants strive to end sexual violence.

Let’s Create Communities That Support Parents and Children

Categories: Violence Prevention

We’re all disturbed by the tragedy of child maltreatment. We are dismayed when we see headlines informing us of yet another child’s life ended or altered forever because of maltreatment by a trusted caregiver.

Take Action to Protect Our Youth from Traumatic Brain Injury

Categories: Traumatic Brain Injury

Along with many others, I was shocked to learn about the recent death of actress Natasha Richardson. Ms. Richardson fell while taking skiing lessons on a beginner’s slope. Although she hit her head, she reportedly got up from the fall and declined any immediate medical treatment since she didn’t lose consciousness and felt fine. But soon afterward the world learned what we at CDC already knew – even a seemingly minor bump to the head can result in a significant traumatic brain injury.

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