Fillers.. what you may be missing

Most editors of print journals hate ‘white space’ i.e., space at the end of a paper that is simply empty. It seems such a waste especially when print is so precious. So we try to fill those spaces with interesting tidbits, sometimes amusing, often just snippets of news items not sufficiently detailed to warrant including in News and Notes. Unfortunately, readers who only have access to the electronic copies miss out on these so, with the editor’s encouragement, I will in future be including them on the blog. We will decide later if each should have a separate blog but for now I am adding the whole batch for you to examine. Let us know what you think. As always, comments are welcome.

Grandads and gun violence

A grandfather in Texas accidentally shot his 3-year-old granddaughter when he was aiming at a stray cat. Another report describes a grandfather who accidentally shot his 10-year old grandson outside of a hunting store while unloading an antique rifle. Yet another story relates to a grandson  who was ‘accidentally’ shot while target shooting with pistols. Among the 72 comments, many questioned whether this was truly ‘accidental’. One wrote: “Sad story. Pistols do not accidentally shoot people.
1. The pistol was loaded
2. The shooter had their finger on the trigger
3. The pistol was aimed at something not intended as a target.” The writer added that these are all violations of safe gun handling.

Kill disobedient children

A U.S. Republican congressional candidate wrote a book in which he argued that “The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21.”  He adds, “This passage does not give parents blanket authority to kill their children.” The threat of death would, however, “be a tremendous incentive for children to give proper respect to their parents.

Speed cameras more acceptable in UK

A recent UK survey found that people think speed cameras are more acceptable now than they did five years ago. In 2007, 30% of respondents said speed cameras were not acceptable; in 2012 that figure fell to  16%. The results indicate that 85% believe speed cameras have contributed to the fall in road deaths since the 1990s. An interesting side story is that these cameras are least popular in Wales, which has the highest rate of speeders! In contrast, cameras are most popular in Scotland, where only 14% were caught speeding.

Window Safety Month

The wonderfully-named “Children Can’t Fly” program in New York identified the dangers of open windows in high rise buildings. It offered simple, effective solutions. Yet the problem remains prompting Massachusetts to proclaim August 2012 Window Safety Month. Residents were urged to  secure windows after reminding them that “over 5,000 children are treated annually for falls from windows that are not adequately screened or equipped with safety latches.” Alongside education, the public health department promotes the use of child safety window guards.

Dangerous products linger

An article in Time Moneyland lists dangerous products that, though recalled, many in the U.S. still have in their homes. These include: Inflatable pool slides, baby slings, LG Dehumidifiers, Drop-side cribs, Toy Dart Guns, Gel Fuel, Shades and Blinds, Magnetix Building Sets, Mclaren Strollers (pre-2010), Maytag Dishwashers, Lasko Box Fans, Bumbo Baby Seats. Editor: The list was not surprising. Nor was the reaction that almost universally ridiculed the Product Safety Branch, blamed lawyers, or both. Unfair, say I.

ICD-10 delayed until October 2014

The new and controversial set of diagnostic codes in  ICD-10 will not take effect until October 1, 2014. The delay is a result of complaints about the heavy burden involved in the conversion. Because the codes are far more detailed the cost of conversion will be great and may affect the “migration to electronic health records and electronic prescribing”.

Some good news on teen drinking

The percentage of US teens 16 or older who drove when they had been drinking alcohol decreased by 54% percent between 1991 and 2011, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, nearly one million high school teens reportedly drove when they had been drinking alcohol in 2011 and were responsible for approximately 2.4 million episodes of drinking and driving a month.

Deaths in UAE road crashes during Eid

Eight people were killed in traffic during the Eid Al Fitr holidays. The events included examples of driver negligence and failing to leave a safe distance between vehicles, failure to wear a seat belt, speeding, and not paying attention.

Queensland Trauma Registry defunded

For reasons best known to the politicians, funding for the important Queensland Trauma Registry ceased at the end of June 2012.  The website lists a large number of QTR achievements: quality assurance in trauma care; data and supporting statistical analysis relevant to trauma policy and practice; regular statistical reports on injury and trauma systems performance;  the development and evaluation of the Queensland Trauma Plan; the development and implementation of a Bi-national Trauma Minimum Data Set (Australia and New Zealand); the regular Queensland Trauma Review.


Langley receives special award

Emeritus Professor John Langley, the founder and former director of IPRU, was presented with a Special Award at the International Conference on Injury Control in recognition of his long service to the field.  Professor Langley has been a strong advocate for better alcohol policy to reduce injury in New Zealand for many years, and was presented with his award by the Minister of Justice and ACC, Judith Collins.  John was a former founding Editorial Board member and a well loved colleague, especially when he was cantankerous.

Alex Kelter Vision Award

Larry Cohen was selected as the winner of this  award for his vision, passion and leadership for public health, social justice, and injury and violence prevention. Among his many accomplishments is helping shape strategies to secure the passage of bicycle and motorcycle helmet laws, strengthen child and adult passenger restraint regulations, and set fluoridation requirements in California. Mr. Cohen has also promoted efforts to incorporate a focus on primary prevention as a significant part of health reform.

New child injury research branch

A plan to establish an injury research branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is nearing completion. Dr. Alan Guttmacher  acknowledged the lack of a dedicated extramural injury research unit based in part on a white paper developed by SAVIR.  This branch will enable the NICHD to establish a range of funding opportunities within a single unit, unite areas of injury research already funded by various NICHD units, and foster new initiatives.

UAE speed limit cut on hold

Plans to reduce the maximum speed limit in Abu Dhabi are still under consideration. Traffic police said that the scheme to do away with buffer zones, or the speed at which vehicles could travel over the speed limit before drivers receive a fine (usually about 20kph), was still in the planning phase. This hesitation is curious given the department’s resolve to have zero traffic deaths by 2030.

Gun rights supporter predicts Canada will repeal all gun control

An advisor to the Canadian Minister largely responsible for the repeal of the long-gun registry stated that Canada is heading for a reversal of extreme gun control regulations under PM Harper. Recently, all gun show regulations were repealed. Moreover, when the U.N. failed to pass the Arms Trade Treaty, Canada was among the opponents.


Injury in Review, 2012 Edition: Spotlight on Road and Transport Safety

This monograph provides surveillance and prevention information on injuries in Canada with a focus on road and transport safety for children, youth and young adults up to 24 years of age. It was produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada, in collaboration with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation and Safe Kids Canada. You can download a free copy at this site:

US traffic deaths rise

US traffic deaths rose by 9 percent in first half of 2012.  NHTSA called the finding “the largest such increase during the first half of the year” since 1975 when it began collecting these data.  It is likely that the increase comes from more people being on the road because of an improved economy and mild winter weather.

Bicycles up; cars down

In Italy and many other parts of Europe, bicycle sales have raced ahead of car sales. This is especially true in countries, like Britain, that have built dedicated lanes for cyclists and launched bike-sharing schemes.  (Italy has relatively few bike lanes and the bike-sharing program in Rome collapsed after most of the bikes were stolen).

Physician reporting of unfit drivers reduces crashes

Physicians in Ontario, Canada receive a financial incentive to report unfit drivers. A paper in the NEJM notes that since 2006 the rate of reporting has increased and that patients who received a warning from the motor vehicle branch were “40% to 45% less likely to be involved in a serious car crash. However the decreased risk may be due to driving less often, or with more care.  In any case, given the research design, the relationship may not be causal. Still, the finding is encouraging. (

State by State Injury Prevention Policy Report

SAVIR, in a follow-up to a keynote address by the Executive Director of the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), was instrumental in moving The Facts Hurt (FH) project from idea to completion. The FH report concludes that millions of injuries could be prevented each year if more states adopted additional research-based injury prevention policies, and if programs were fully implemented and enforced.
 TFAH and The RWJ Foundation worked with a committee of experts from SAVIR and the Safe States Alliance to formulate indicators of leading evidence-based strategies that have been shown to reduce injuries and save lives.

Request for proposals

The Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS), an Industry-University Cooperative Research Center catalyzed by the National Science Foundation, has issued requests for proposals for next year. Letters of intent are invited from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and U Pennsylvania. An Advisory Board will then determine which LOIs will be invited to submit full proposals.  CChIPS mission is to advance safety by conducting research on the prevalence and predictors of injury, and evaluation, development, testing, and dissemination of commercial technology and public education programs.

Cooperative Agreement Funded with Safe States Alliance

SAVIR, in collaboration with Safe States Alliance, received a 5-year cooperative agreement from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) to evaluate the states’ Core Violence and Injury Prevention Programs. SAVIR will adapt evaluation processes for these programs.





National Injury Conference, June 5-7, 2013

A National Injury Conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center. SAVIR, the Safe States Alliance and the NCIPC have joined forces with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, and other local Universities to host this meeting. There will also be several pre-conference activities, including workshops for both researchers and practitioners and a day on Capitol Hill.








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