Letter to the Editor

Safety practices can save lives

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

To the editor:

Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability among those age 35 years and younger in the United States. Southeast Missouri is in the 90th percentile for motor vehicle-related death and head injury-related death. We are able to reduce this risk.

By following drinking and driving laws we can substantially reduce traffic related fatalities. All occupants of a motor vehicle should use a safety belt. All children should be in car seats.

The leading causes for fatal injuries among children include motor vehicle crashes, fires burns, drowning and falls. Children should never be left unattended around fire or bodies of water. Not only must we act to protect our children but we must also lead by example. Ultimately, our futures reside in the lives of those we preserve today.

Traumatic brain injury can also be a devastating nonfatal result of trauma among both adults and children. The use of helmets during recreational activities can help prevent tragic outcomes.

Helmets should be worn when riding a motorized vehicle of any sort (including scooters and all-terrain vehicles), playing contact sports, using inline skates, skateboarding, batting in baseball and softball and riding a horse.

You can find further information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web page, www.cdc.gov. We can live safer and longer lives in Southeast Missouri by taking action on available information.


Cape Girardeau