STATE — Injuries and unexpected accidents can happen at home, at work or at play, but New Jersey Health and Senior Services Acting Commissioner Mary O’Dowd says that making one positive change a day can lead to a safer life.
“Whether it is making sure you buckle your seatbelt while driving, assessing your home for potential hazards or making sure your children’s helmets are properly secured while biking, everyone can contribute to a safer lifestyle,” said O’Dowd.
April 4–10 is National Public Health Week, which is recognized nationally to educate the public, policy-makers and the public health community about the issues important to improving public health.
“Safety is no Accident: Live Injury-Free” is the theme of this year’s National Public Health Week, which is organized by the American Public Health Association. The theme highlights the important role individuals, schools and workplaces play in preventing violence and injuries.
Injuries, accidents and violence are the most expensive medical problems in the country. Annually, $80 billion is spent on medical care due to injury. Another $326 billion is estimated for lost productivity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, injuries are the most common cause of death before the age of 65, accounting for 30 percent of potential years of life lost. In addition, unintentional injuries such as motor vehicle crashes, poisonings and burns rank among the top 10 causes of death for people under the age of 44.
Some injury prevention suggestions that everyone can make include:
- Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Make sure all electrical outlets are covered and inaccessible to children.
- Program emergency numbers such as the Poison Control Hotline Numbers into your home and cell phones.
- Make sure cleaning supplies and medicines are in locked cabinets out of the reach of children.
- Wear all protective equipment required or recommended for your job.
- Participate in all workplace safety trainings.
- Use your rights to advocate for safety and health.
- Always wear all protective equipment required, such as helmets, when playing sports.
- Monitor your children when they are at play to ensure safety.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
On the Move:
- Always wear a seatbelt, no matter how short the trip.
- Make sure children are buckled in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt.
- Wear a helmet and reflective gear when on a bike, skateboard or scooter.
- Avoid texting, eating or using the phone while driving.
For more information, visit the DHSS Office of Injury Surveillance and Prevention website at http://nj.gov/health/chs/oisp/index.shtml.
For more information on National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org/nphw11/home1.htm.
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