November 2010 Archives

November 30, 2010

What States Have the Safest Roadways in the U.S.?

The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) released a report in early October 2010 that shows that the two safest roadways are in Washington and Oregon, according to their 2010 ENA National Scorecard of State Roadway Laws. The District of Columbia has a score of 12, Maryland a score of 11 and Virginia a score of 9.

The 2010 ENA National Scorecard ranks states based on 14 types of legislation that address such things as seat belt use, motorcycle helmet requirements, devices to prevent drunk driving and cell phone use laws. States receive one point for each type of legislation they currently have. Oregon and Washington both had a score of 14, making them the safest roadways to travel in the United States.

Date collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that someone dies in a car crash in the US every 12 minutes and someone is injured, taken to and treated in an emergency department for injuries as a result of an automobile accident every 10 seconds. These injuries and deaths are preventable through roadways laws and enforcement of these safety laws, it is the passing of these safety laws that save lives.

Twenty six states and the District of Columbia have passed or enacted laws that prevent the entering, sending, reading or otherwise retrieving data for all drivers using wireless communication devices (i.e.: cell phones). 5,474 people died in 2009 as a result of distraction-related automobile accidents, according to the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHSTA). This means that 18% of annual fatalities are a result of distracted drivers nationwide.

To view the full 2010 ENA National Scorecard and State Roadway Laws report please visit www.ena.org.

November 22, 2010

E. Coli Contamination Outbreak in Maryland

A food poisoning case was filed in Baltimore, Maryland as a result of E. coli contamination found in Baugher's Orchard Apple Cider. This apple cider is sold in Maryland and Pennsylvania and has since been taken off the market. Consumers are instructed not to drink this cider and to dispose of it immediately. Several cases of E. coli food poisoning were reported.

What is E. coli?
- a bacteria that can survive in an environment with or without air and can produce hair-like structures that allow the bacteria to move and attach to human cells. These bacteria most commonly live in the intestines of animals and humans. Though there are many types of E. coli in the United States, the most common is E. coli O157:H7.
E. coli.gif
Symptoms of E. coli Infections:
- nausea
- vomiting
- mild fever
- stomach cramps, and
- diarrhea that is often bloody

If E. coli infections go untreated they can lead to hospitalizations and in rare instances Hemolytic-Uremia Syndrome (HUS), which is a form of kidney failure, that occurs when the toxin/bacteria enters the blood stream. If left untreated, it can lead to dehydration and potentially life-threatening illnesses. However, most adults recover from food poisoning cause by E. coli within a few weeks. Young children and the elderly are at higher risks for more sever illnesses.

The most common type of E. coli is E. coli O157:H7. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 70,000 people are affected with this specific type of E. coli each year. This type of E. coli is most commonly associates with hamburger meats; therefore, it is commonly referred to as the hamburger disease. It is also associated with contaminated water, foods and unpasteurized dairy products.

If you believe that you may be suffering from E. coli food poisoning please seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you seek treatment, the lower the risk of potential health complications.

November 16, 2010

How to Keep Your Child Safe in Your Vehicle

Here are some helpful hints to keep your child safe while riding in your vehicle:

1) Always use a Child Safety Seat.

2) Use the Correct Child Safety Seat for your child. Make sure you are using the right one based on your child's age and weight. Young children should ride in rear facing seats, while older children use forward facing seats and booster seats.

3) Be knowledgeable about your Child Safety Seat. Make sure the seat is installed properly and read the owners manual in case you have any questions or concerns about the safety seat. Also, most local fire departments offer child safety seat installing programs. All you need to do is take the child seat to your local fire department and they will instruct you on installing the safety seat properly.

4) Register your Child Safety Seat. By completing the registration card and registering your safety seat, you will be notified by the manufacturer should there be any problems and/or recalls on your specific model.

5) Love your baby. Children need more support than adults. Use a rear facing seat that offers additional head and neck support for babies up to 22 pounds.

6) Use a Booster Seat. Once your child has outgrown the Safety Seat make sure and continue the safety of your child with the use of a booster seat. These seats allow the child to use the lap and shoulder belts already in place in your car in a safe manner. Booster seats help position the belt across your child's chest rather than his/her neck.

7) Use Seat Harnesses Correctly. Harnesses should be in slots at or below the shoulders for rear facing seats and at or above the shoulders for forward facing seats. These harnesses should lie snug and in a straight line across your child.

8) Obey Safety Seat Belt Laws. Each state in the US has different laws on seat belts and child seats, so make sure and obey the law in your state. Also, if you travel, make sure and be aware of the laws in and around the state where you are traveling to.

9) Ask the Experts. You can learn how to correctly install your safety seat by attending local passenger safety clinics. These events are held frequently and are usually advertised in your local paper.

10) Search for more resources on Child Safety online at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website or by calling 866-SEAT-CHECK.

November 2, 2010

New 2010 Crash Safety Ratings System Presented in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, October 5, 2010 an updated 5 Star Vehicle Safety Rating System was introduced. The new rating system has tighter standards which may make some previously 5 star rated vehicles less safe. The new system evaluates how vehicle perform in front, side and rear crashes. Another change that will take effect is that the crash tests dummies used will now also resemble women drivers. Safety measures will also allow and include for more crash avoidance and prevention. The upgraded system will also evaluate side pole crash testing and crash prevention technologies.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
is recommending that all consumers purchase vehicles with crash avoidance technologies that meet the new 5 star rating system. The new technologies include forward collision warning, lane departure warning and electronic stability control.

The new rating system can be further reviewed at http://www.safecar.gov/.