Submitted by Oswego County
The potential for injury is all around us. Each year, nearly 150,000 people die from injuries, and almost 30 million people are injured seriously enough to go to the emergency room.
National Public Health Week, April 4 – 10, is a time to celebrate advancements in public health, assess our nation’s current public health status, and highlight the importance of taking action. “This year, we are focusing on creating communities that are more aware of injury prevention. Scientific advances have transformed our idea that injuries are accidental, unavoidable occurrences to events that are preventable and predictable,” stated Dennis Norfleet, MD, Public Health Director for the Oswego County Health Department.
It only takes a moment for an injury to occur – a fall on the stairs, a fall off a bicycle, an incorrectly installed child safety seat, a quick glance away from the road, a poisoning, or a burn. Preventable injuries rank among the top 10 causes of death for people of all ages. Even small precautions can make a big difference.
Dr. Norfleet suggests we make just one positive change a day, to prevent injuries and start living a safer life:
- Buckle your seatbelt on every trip, no matter how short
- Stay alert while driving. Don’t be distracted by texting and phone calls
- Wear a helmet and other properly fitted protective gear while playing sports
- Make sure children are buckled in car seats or booster seats
- Check your hot water heater and adjust the thermostat to 120 degrees to prevent burns
- Assess your home for potential hazards; poor lighting and uneven surfaces, to prevent falls
- Know the Poison Control Hotline, 1-800-222-1222, and store cleaning supplies and medicines out of the reach of children
“The Oswego County Health Department works with many community partners to address injury concerns in the community,” said Dr. Norfleet. This past year the Oswego County Health Department partnered with senior nutrition services to address fall prevention with seniors, distributed car seats and cribs to low-income families, and worked with local elementary schools and Headstart programs to address traffic safety, poisoning prevention, and bicycle safety.
“Public health requires much more than eating fruits and vegetables, getting vaccinations and quitting smoking,” said Dr. Norfleet. “Adults and children must have safe places to live, work, and play.”
For more information on injury prevention programs offered by the Oswego County Health Department, call 349-3547.