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Indiana State Department of Health

Trauma System/Injury Prevention Program Home > Injury Prevention > Recreational and Home Safety Information Recreational and Home Safety Information

National Poison Prevention Week: March 16-21, 2014

National Poison Prevention Week was established by the United States Congress in 1961 to focus attention on the dangers of potentially poisonous medicines and chemicals, and to outline steps to prevent poisonings. A poison is defined as “any substance, including medication, that is harmful to your body if too much is eaten, inhaled, injected or absorbed through the skin.” Anything can be poisonous if used in the wrong way, including household items. Like that of all injuries, most poisonings are unintentional; however, some can be inflicted intentionally through self-harm or by another individual. Injuries and poisonings affect all groups of people, regardless of age, race or economic status. In 2011, 1,084 Hoosiers died from poisoning, which accounted for 26.9 percent of all injury deaths.

The toll-free Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222, connects callers to their local poison center. Poison centers are more than just help lines for parents of young children and they offer advice to anyone, including adults and health care providers. More than two million poisonings are reported every year to the nation’s poison centers and about 50 percent of poisonings include children under the age of six. During 2011, the Indiana Poison Center reported more than 68,500 calls for help.

Some tips to prevent poisoning include:

  • Only take prescription medications that are prescribed to you by a healthcare provider. Never take larger or more frequent doses of your medications, unless indicated by your healthcare provider
  • Prevent drug interactions by talking to your doctor about all over-the-counter medications and prescriptions drugs you take and your alcohol use.
  • Never share or sell your medications and keep medicines away from children.
  • Properly dispose unused, unneeded or expired medications. Prescription drug take back events provide an alternative to flushing drugs down the toilet, placing in the regular trash or leaving drugs in the home where they are susceptible to unintended or illegal use.
  • Store all products and medicine in original containers. Never use food containers to store household or chemical products. Return these products to a safe place immediately after use. Follow instructions on household products and medicines.
  • Teach your children not to eat berries, mushrooms or other plants around your house and yard.
  • Put the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it in your cell phone. Share the number with family, friends and babysitters.
  • If you suspect a person may have been poisoned and is unconscious or has difficulty breathing, call 911.
  • Visit www.PoisonHelp.hrsa.gov  for more information about how to prevent poisonings.
  • Visit www.upandaway.org for more information about the Up and Away and Out of Sight program

Prevent Child Injury created a new toolkit for National Poison Prevention Week, which can be utilized to promote safe use, storage, and disposal of medicines and vitamins. The toolkit contains a  user guide, project materials, and existing resources for medication safety. The toolkit can be found here.

Brain Injury Awareness Month- March, 2014

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. A traumatic brain injury (TBI)  results from a  blunt or penetrating injury to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.  TBI occurs in many ways, including from a fall in the home or on a playground, in a motor vehicle collisions, or being struck by an object or another person. The severity of TBI ranges from mild concussions to more severe, life-threatening injuries. There were 43,034 emergency department visits and 4,748 hospitalizations due to TBI in Indiana in 2012. TBI can be prevented, and to find out more information about TBI, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

National Burn Awareness Week: Febuary 2- 8, 2014

Scald injuries is the main focus for the American Burn Association’s Burn Awareness Week 2014. Scald injuries occur when hot liquids or steam causes damage to one or more layers of the skin. Scalds are most likely to occur in the kitchen and the bathroom, and some common sources of scalds include hot tap water, hot food or beverages, and steam.  Scalds are the second leading cause of all burn injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Additionally, children, older adults, and people with disabilities are especially at risk for scalds.

Scalds can be prevented through a few easy environmental and behavioral changes. The American Burn Association recommends the following safety tips to decrease your risk for scalds.

  • Set home water heater thermostats to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Test the water using a candy, meat, or water thermometer after letting the water run for three to five minutes and adjust the water temperature accordingly.
  • Avoid flushing toilets, running water, or using dishwashers and washing machines while someone is showering.
  • Install anti-scald or tempering devices to prevent too hot of water from coming out of the tap. Test bathwater temperatures by moving your hand, wrist, and forearm through the water. The water should feel warm, not hot.
  • Never carry or hold a child while cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids to prevent spilling on the child. 
  • Allow microwaved food to cool prior to eating and open packaging slowly and away from the face.

 

National Drug Facts Week: January 27-February 2, 2014

National Drug Facts Week is an observance sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and aimed at shattering myths about drugs and drug abuse for teens.  Teens receive incorrect messages from the Internet, TV, music, movies and friends about drug abuse and addiction. About a third of high school seniors have reported using an illicit drug within the past year, more than 10 percent report nonmedical use of prescription painkillers and more than 20 percent report smoking marijuana in the past month.

The interactive National Drug IQ Challenge can be accessed starting January 27, 2014 at http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/iqchallenge. NIDA scientists will host a chat day on January 28, 2014 from 8 am to 6 pm EST to provide thousands of teens the answers to their questions about drugs.

Winter Safety

Winter provides new challenges in the injury prevention world. Home fires are more prevalent due in part by an increase in cooking and heating fires, holidaty decorations, and winter storms. Below are some tips to keep your family safe this winter.

Kids Safety

Home Safety

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day-Saturday, October 26

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Find a Colleciton site for Saturday, October 26th here.

Capitol police personnel will be on location Friday, October 25 in downtown Indianapolis by the President Lincoln statute in front of the Indiana Government Center complex to collect discarded drugs from 11 am to 1 pm.

Fire Safety

Fire Prevention Week is October 6-12. The theme this year is "Prevent Kitchen Fires." The National Fire Protection Association indicates that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Read some of the following information to learn how to "Get Cookin' with Fire Safety!"

Fall Safety

The end of summer means an end to outdoor activities like swimming and boating for Hooisers, but it's a great time to bring awareness to all-too-common injuries resulting from falls. Each year, one in three Americans over the age of 65 fall, which can result in serious health consequences and injuries. National Fall Prevention Awareness Day is September 22, 2013, better known as the first day of fall. By taking some simple steps, you can reduce your risk or the risk of a loved one of suffering injuries due to falls.  

Falls Prevention for Older Adults

Falls-Child

  Summer Safety

Summer is a great time to engage in outdoors activities such as swimming, biking, playing outside, and grilling, but it is also a time when accidents and injuries occur.  By taking simple, common-sense precautions, you can have fun and stay safe at the same time.

Dog Bites

Playground and Bike Safety

Poisoning

Overexertion

Contact Information:

Jessica Skiba
Injury Prevention Epidemiologist, Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention
jskiba@isdh.in.gov
317-233-7716

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