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July 2-7, 2000


  • Center for the Future of Children. Unintentional Injuries in Childhood. V.10(1); Spring/Summer 2000, 1-188. 2000. Los Altos, CA: Center for the Future of Children, David and Lucille Packard Foundation. The future of children. 10(1): 1-188; Spring/Summer 2000. (45.02 B)

    : This issue of The Future of Children focuses on unintentional injuries among children and their prevention. The articles discuss the epidemiology and costs of childhood injuries and review current knowledge on the effectiveness of prevention efforts at targeting individuals, communities, and state or federal policies. The articles illustrate that the most effective injury prevention efforts often are those that focus on public policy change, reinforced through legislation or regulations. Public policy strategies have a greater likelihood of being implemented and enforced if they are coupled with communitywide efforts to change social norms about the acceptability of safety behaviors, and adequate financial resources to ensure the availability of safety devices.

  • Hedlund J. Risky business: Safety regulations, risk compensation, and individual behavior. Injury Prevention 2000; 6(2):82-90. (E.45.02 S)

    : This paper surveys risk compensation by reviewing its history, discussing its theoretical foundations, outlining evidence for and against its claims, and providing the author's own views. It concludes by discussing the relevance of risk compensation for injury prevention workers who seek to reduce unintentional injuries.

  • Koziol-McLain J, Brand D, Morgan D, Leff M, Lowenstein SR. Measuring injury risk factors: Question reliability in a statewide sample. Injury Prevention 2000; 6(2):148-150. (E.45.02 S)

    : Personal habits and lifestyles play an important part in causing injury, disability, and premature death. Yet, with few exceptions, injury related risk factors and behaviors are omitted from surveillance systems. To remedy this, from 1996-1998 Colorado added questions pertaining to injury related risks and behaviors to its behavioral risk factor surveillance system (BRFSS). The injury module included 15 questions about bicycle helmet use, traffic crashes, exposure to violence, suicidal behaviors, and gun storage. Of 330 BRFSS participants, 229 were called a second time and asked 9 selected injury questions. Test-retest agreement was very high for bicycle helmet use, domestic police visits, and gun ownership. All other injury risk questions had substantial agreement. Reducing high-risk behaviors is a priority of the national health objectives for the year 2010 and a cornerstone of state injury control strategic plans. This study supports the reliability of questions to measure and monitor the prevalence of injury prone behaviors.


  • Mack MG, Sacks JJ, Thompson D. Testing the impact attenuation of loose-fill playground surfaces. Injury Prevention 2000; 6(2):141-144. (E.60.08 S)

    : This study measured the impact attenuation performance of five types of loose-fill playground surfaces at a variety of drop heights, material depths, and conditions. Test results indicate that the current standard test procedure (ASTM F1292) used to test impact attenuation characteristics of loose-fill materials for playground surfaces may produce unreliable (and possibly invalid) results. Of the surface materials tested, shredded rubber was the best performer. There was little difference between sand, wood fibers, and wood chips. Pea gravel had the worst performance, making it a poor choice for playground surfacing. The authors discuss the limitations of their test, and the implications for injury prevention.


  • Goodman MJ, Tijerina L, Bents FD, Wierwille WW. Using cellular telephones in vehicles: Safe or unsafe? Transportation Human Factors 2000; 1(1):3-42. (E.52.02 S)

    : The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a comprehensive data and information gathering effort to study the safety implications of driving while using cellular telephones. Trends in cell phone user characteristics and use patterns are presented first, followed by a review of the existing crash record, including a statistical analysis intended to provide predictions of crash incidence over time. Key findings are given from a critical review of the research literature on cell phone use while driving. The most significant of these findings is that conversation (as opposed to dialing, hanging up, or reaching for the phone) appears to be the principle factor associated with most crashes. The inattention and distraction created by the use of a cell phone while driving can degrade vehicle control, object and event perception, or situational awareness. Finally, a discussion is provided of human factors design issues for cell phones, additional safety issues, future research, and institutional needs.

  • Hanfling MF, Mangus LG, Gill AC, Bailey R. A multifaceted approach to improving motor vehicle restraint compliance. Injury Prevention 2000; 6(2):125-129. (E.52.02 S)

    : The Vehicle Injury Prevention (VIP) program was a multifaceted, community education campaign conducted in Houston, Texas. It brought together six segments of the community: education, health, government, law enforcement, private industry, and the media to improve seat belt and car seat use. It was evaluated by observation of proper restraint use before and 9 months after implementation. Motorists in the target area significantly improved their restraint use from 39% preintervention to 54% postintervention, whereas use in the control neighborhoods remained unchanged. The authors conclude that implementation of a public health education campaign, combined with economic incentives to increase vehicle restraint use, can be successful with multifaceted community support.

  • Arbogast KB, Durbin DR, Morris SD, Winston FK. Assessing child restraint misuse by parental survey. Injury Prevention 2000; 6(2):145-147. (E.52.02.06 S)

    : The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which child restraint systems (CRS) misuse can be evaluated by parental survey. Parents were administered a structured interview to identify CRS use and misuse. After the interview, a certified child passenger safety technician team independently evaluated the restraint system and identified specific modes of misuse. Parent descriptions of CRS use were compared with observations of the technician. Results indicate that parents were able to accurately report several aspects of child restraint use - the attachment and fit of the CRS, the use of the harness clip, and the CRS incline. Parents were less accurate in their characterization of the fit of the child in the CRS. For nearly every item assessed, parents were more accurate in their description of correct compared with incorrect use. The authors conclude that interview tools can be developed that enable parents to describe aspects of CRS use and that screen for correct CRS use. These tools could be administered by telephone to obtain a more representative estimate of the prevalence of CRS misuse or to screen for CRS misuse. This screening would assist in targeting time consuming and costly CRS clinics to those parents who need them the most.

School Injuries:

  • U.S.Department of Education, U.S.Department of Justice. 1999 Annual Report on School Safety. 1-66. 1999. Washington, DC, U.S. Department of Education. Annual Report on School Safety. (E.68.02 S)

    : This report presents an updated description of the nature and extent of crime and violence on school property. It shows what measures some schools have taken to prevent and address school violence, refining and revising the program information provided in last year's report. This report is divided into four chapters: The nature and scope of school violence; Federal and international data; Safe Schools/Healthy Students - Collaboration in action; and Model programs - helping to improve school safety. A list of resources is included.


  • Sieving RE, Perry CL, Williams CL. Do friendships change behaviors, or do behaviors change friendships? Examining paths of influence in young adolescents' alcohol use. Journal of Adolescent Health 2000; 26:27-35. (E.40.02 S)

    : This study examined support for models of peer influence, which postulate that young adolescents whose friends use alcohol will also engage in that behavior, and of peer selection, which postulates that young adolescents seek out friends whose drinking behavior is similar to their own. Data were from adolescents participating in Project Northland, a school and community based alcohol use prevention trial. Findings indicate that higher levels of friends' drug use led to increased participant alcohol use. The reverse-order relationship (greater participant involvement in alcohol leading to more drug use among friends) was not supported by the data. The authors conclude that similarity in drinking behavior among adolescent friends is more related to peer influence than to peer selection. Alcohol use prevention programs should equip teens with skills to resist peer pressure to use alcohol.

  • Rossow I, Pape H, Wichstrom L. Young, wet, and wild? Associations between alcohol intoxication and violent behaviour in adolescence. Addiction 1999; 94(7):1017-1031. (E.40.02 S)

    : This study assessed gender and age specific associations between alcohol intoxication and engagement in violent behaviors in Norwegians 12-20 years old. An association between alcohol intoxication and violent behavior was found. However, in the youngest age group, the alcohol and violence association was found only among those who were also engaged in other problem behaviors, such as delinquency and illicit drug use. When the problem behavior was controlled for, there was no significant effect of drinking on violence. Among older adolescents, there was still a small but statistically significant net effect of intoxication on violent behavior when all the potential confounders were taken into account. These findings indicate that the ways in which alcohol intoxication and violent behavior are associated change during the teenage years.

  • Austin EW, Pinkleton BE, Fujioka Y. The role of interpretation processes and parental discussion in the media's effects on adolescents' use of alcohol. Pediatrics 2000; 105(2):343-349. (E.40.02 S)

    : This study examined adolescents' television viewing patterns, beliefs about alcohol and media messages, grade level, and parental discussion patterns regarding media messages to determine their relative associations with predrinking and actual drinking behavior. Results showed that effects of media exposure on drinking behavior (after controlling for grade level, ethnicity, gender, household income, and education levels) were positive and indirect (operating through intervening beliefs). Direct associations were small. Parental discussion also affected behavior indirectly, through expectancies, identification, and perceived realism. Parental reinforcement and counter-reinforcement of messages moderate the potential risk of frequent exposure to persuasive alcohol portrayals via late-night talk shows, sports, music videos, and prime-time television. Interventions need to acknowledge and counter the appeal of desirable and seemingly realistic alcohol portrayals in the media and alert parents to their potential for unintended adverse effects.

  • Baker TK, Johnson MB, Voas RB, Lange JE. To reduce youthful binge drinking: Call an election in Mexico. Journal of Safety Research 2000; 31(2):61-69. (E.40.02 S)

    : Tijuana's loosely enforced age 18 drinking limit and low-priced alcohol entice thousands of young Americans to drink. On two weekends in 1997 and 1998, the Mexican government held elections during which alcohol sales were prohibited from midnight Friday through 10am Monday. This study reports the effects of the election closings. The total prohibition against liquor sales on election Saturday nights was associated with a 71.2% reduction in total pedestrian returnees and a 34.5% reduction on Friday nights with partial closings of bars. Further, results showed that the number of pedestrians with breath alcohol contents (BACs) of 0.08 or higher was reduced during election days. The closing of Tijuana's alcohol establishments reduced the number of border crossers and the BACs of returnees.

  • Hingson R, Heeren T, Winter M. Effects of recent 0.08% legal blood alcohol limits on fatal crash involvement. Injury Prevention 2000; 6(2):109-114. (E.40.02 S)

    : This study assessed whether states that lowered legal blood alcohol limits from 0.10% to 0.08% in 1993 and 1994 experienced post-law reductions in alcohol related fatal crashes. Six states that adopted 0.08% as the legal blood alcohol limit in 1993 and 1994 were compared with six nearby states that retained the 0.10% limit. States adopting 0.08% laws experienced a 6% greater post-law decline in the proportion of drivers in fatal crashes with blood alcohol levels of 0.10% or higher and a 5% greater decline in the proportion of fatal crashes that were alcohol related at 0.10% or higher. The authors conclude that if all states adopted the 0.08% legal blood alcohol level, 400-500 fewer traffic fatalities would occur annually.


  • McArthur D, Peek-Asa C, Webb T, Fisher K, Cook B, Browne N et al. Violence and its injury consequences in American movies: A public health perspective. Injury Prevention 2000; 6(2):120-124. (E.78.06 S)

    : This study evaluated the seriousness and frequency of violence and the degree of associated injury depicted in the 100 top grossing American films of 1994. Results showed that violent force in American films of 1994 was overwhelmingly intentional and in 4 out of 5 cases was executed at levels likely to cause significant bodily injury. Not only action films, but also movies of all genres contained scenes in which the intensity of action was not matched by corresponding severe injury consequences. Many films, regardless of genre, tend to minimize the consequences of violence to human beings.

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