NEWS

National Public Health Week - "Safety is No Accident: Live Injury-Free"

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Injury in among the top 10 causes of death and is the most expensive medical problem in the United States. In a single year, $80 billion will be spent on medical care; another $326 billion on lost productivity according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This week, National Public Health Week, April 4-10, 2011,Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold is issuing a call to action to take simple steps within our families and our communities to help prevent injuries and create a safer place to live.  This year's theme is "Safety is No Accident:

Live Injury-Free" and highlights the need to make injury and violence prevention a priority in our lives.

 "While public health includes getting vaccinations, quitting smoking and combating chronic diseases like obesity, having a safe place to live, work and play also contributes to living a longer and healthier life," said Dr. Arnold. "Taking measures to prevent injuries and violence will also reduce medical care  costs. We will find real change when we shift from a reactionary health system to one focused on preventative measures.  Many injuries are not accidents and can be prevented by taking action."

 Each day this week focuses on injury prevention is five different areas. Following are some small precautions people can take that make a big difference.

MONDAY: At Home

• Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

• Program emergency numbers, such as the Poison Control Hotline, into your phone.

• Store medicine and cleaning supplies in locked cabinets and out of the reach of children.

TUESDAY: At Work

• Wear all personal protective equipment required or recommended for you job.

• Participate in worksite safety training programs.

• Use your rights to advocate for safety and health.

WEDNESDAY: At Play

• Wear a helmet and other protective gear while biking and playing sports.

• Host a concussion awareness event for young  athletes at a local high school.

• Watch children while playing to ensure safety.

THURSDAY: On the Move

• Avoid texting, eating and using the phone while driving.

• Be a designated drive - don't drink and drive.

• Walk facing traffic and make yourself visible when walking at night.

FRIDAY: In Your Community

• Provide access to youth services for those living in communities impacted by violence.

• Keep weapons in a locked and safe place away from children.

• Join a Neighborhood Watch program.

It only takes a moment for an injury to happen - a fall on a stair, a moment's glance away from the road, a biking or sports related injury, a medication mix up. But it also takes just a moment to protect against injuries and make communities safer.

Each year, nearly 150,000 people die from injuries in the U.S., and about 75 people die each day as a result of unintentional poisoning according to the CDC.  In Illinois, the most recent statistics show 6,355 people died from injuries in 2007 and 1,085 died from unintentional poisonings; that's  approximately three people a day.

For more information about National Public Health Week and preventive actions you can take to live asafer and long life, visit www.nphw.org.