In celebration of 2011 National Public Health Week, being honored April 4-10, the Kentucky Department of Public Health offers tips on preventing injuries. Each year, injuries account for $80 billion spent on medical care and another $326 billion in lost productivity.
“Kentuckians can make a real difference in their homes and communities by committing to safe behaviors for themselves, their children and families,” said Dr. William Hacker, commissioner of the department. “Implementing preventive measures into our daily routines can make a dramatic difference in both the overall health of our population and the amount of health care dollars spent on injury treatment.”
To prevent injuries, the department recommends: wearing a helmet and protective gear while playing sports; wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher; having a physical before starting a new sport; warming up before playing sports; putting away items like toys and shoes lying on the floor or staircase to prevent falls; monitoring children while they play; drinking lots of water to prevent dehydration; always wearing a seatbelt; and avoiding distracted driving by not talking on the phone, texting or eating.
“We need to realize that public health requires more than the obvious examples we all know, such as eating fruits and vegetables, getting vaccinations and quitting smoking,” Hacker said.