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Indiana State Department of Health

Trauma System/Injury Prevention Program Home > Injury Prevention > Recreational and Home Safety Information Recreational and Home Safety Information

Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative

On Saturday, September 27, 2014 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is sponsoring the ninth nationwide “Prescription Drug Take Back” initiative. The “Take Back” initiative seeks to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft. Collection sites will be set up nationwide for expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs to be disposed of for destruction. This service is free and anonymous with no questions asked. The only restriction being new or used needles will not be accepted. This program is intended for liquid and pill medications.

The Drug Take Back events have proven to be a popular and safe method for the public to legally and safely dispose of prescription drugs that are no longer needed or have expired. The Indiana State Police are pleased to partner with the DEA again, and as in the past, the drugs may be dropped off at any Indiana State Police Post, except the Toll Road Post, on Saturday, September 27th, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The Indiana State Police Capitol Police Division will also host a drop off site on Friday September 26th, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Robert Orr Plaza in Indianapolis, between the government buildings.

To locate the state police post closest to your home or business, click this link:

To find other locations participating in the Drug Take Back initiative, use this link to the DEA:

Child Injury Is Predictable, Preventable, and Persona

Prevent Child Injury has released a toolkit for use during the week of June 23-27, 2014 to highlight that unintentional injury- the leading cause of death and acquired disability in children- is predictable and preventable. Resources and user guides are available on a wide range of injury topics, including child passenger safety, safe sleep, teen driving, TV tip-over, and medication safety. To learn more about these important child injury topics, visit:

May is National Bike Safety Month

The League of American Bicyclists has observed May as National Bike Month since 1956. The month-long event showcases the many benefits of bicycling, while encouraging more people to try biking.  This organization promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works towards a bicycle-friendly America through advocacy and education efforts. Bike to Work Week will be celebrated May 12-16, and National Bike to Work Day is May 16, 2014. This event promotes the healthy, sustainable, and active transportation of biking.

The first-ever National Bike to School Day was celebrated on May 9, 2012, which  encouraged children to safely bicycle or walk to school, and was made up of 950 local events in 49 states.  The event grew to 1,700 schools in all 50 states in 2013. This year, Bike to School Day is May 7. National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools to partner to celebrate National Bike Month. There are several benefits to the event, including establishing healthier habits of physical activity, promoting safety in the community, and reducing traffic congestion.  For more information, visit:  Many local organizations sponsor Bike to School or Bike to Work days during May, and it’s a great time to talk about bike safety.

Bicycling is a leading cause of recreation injury as well as a leading cause of sports-related head injuries in children. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, cycling injuries played a role in 86,000 of 447,000 sports-related head injuries treated in emergency departments in 2009. Bicycle skill development and safety education are important components in preventing bicycle injury.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the following safe riding tips to prevent bicycle injuries:

  • Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet
  • Adjust your bicycle to fit
  • Check your equipment
  • See and be seen
  • Control your bicycle
  • Watch for and avoid road hazards
  • Avoid riding at night

When bicycling on the road, remember to:

  • Go with the traffic flow
  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Yield to traffic when appropriate
  • Be predictable
  • Be alert at all times
  • Look before turning
  • Look for parked cars

For more safety tips, visit

Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week

May 19-25 marks the 10th annual Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week. This observance highlights how to maximize the health benefits of water-based physical activity while avoiding water-associated illness and injury. For more information on how to be safe in the water, visit:

New Report on Smoke Alarms

A new report from the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Analysis and Research Division highlights the importance of working smoke alarms.  The report indicates that three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires on properties without the protection of working smoke alarms, and more than one-third of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes without any smoke alarm.  Working smoke alarms reduces the risk of dying by a half in reported home structure fires, but smoke alarm failures were found to be most commonly due to missing, disconnected or dead batteries. The study also found that interconnected smoke alarms were more likely to operate and alert occupants of home fires compared to those powered solely by batteries.

The NFPA follows the “Once a month, Once a year, Once a decade” rule, meaning that home smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month using the test button, change the batteries once a year if the smoke alarm uses standard batteries, and replace the smoke alarm with a new one once every 10 years.

For the full report and safety tips, visit:

National Poison Prevention Week: March 16-21, 2014

National Poison Prevention Week was established by the United States Congress in 1961 to focus attention on the dangers of potentially poisonous medicines and chemicals, and to outline steps to prevent poisonings. A poison is defined as “any substance, including medication, that is harmful to your body if too much is eaten, inhaled, injected or absorbed through the skin.” Anything can be poisonous if used in the wrong way, including household items. Like that of all injuries, most poisonings are unintentional; however, some can be inflicted intentionally through self-harm or by another individual. Injuries and poisonings affect all groups of people, regardless of age, race or economic status. In 2011, 1,084 Hoosiers died from poisoning, which accounted for 26.9 percent of all injury deaths.

The toll-free Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222, connects callers to their local poison center. Poison centers are more than just help lines for parents of young children and they offer advice to anyone, including adults and health care providers. More than two million poisonings are reported every year to the nation’s poison centers and about 50 percent of poisonings include children under the age of six. During 2011, the Indiana Poison Center reported more than 68,500 calls for help.

Some tips to prevent poisoning include:

  • Only take prescription medications that are prescribed to you by a healthcare provider. Never take larger or more frequent doses of your medications, unless indicated by your healthcare provider
  • Prevent drug interactions by talking to your doctor about all over-the-counter medications and prescriptions drugs you take and your alcohol use.
  • Never share or sell your medications and keep medicines away from children.
  • Properly dispose unused, unneeded or expired medications. Prescription drug take back events provide an alternative to flushing drugs down the toilet, placing in the regular trash or leaving drugs in the home where they are susceptible to unintended or illegal use.
  • Store all products and medicine in original containers. Never use food containers to store household or chemical products. Return these products to a safe place immediately after use. Follow instructions on household products and medicines.
  • Teach your children not to eat berries, mushrooms or other plants around your house and yard.
  • Put the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it in your cell phone. Share the number with family, friends and babysitters.
  • If you suspect a person may have been poisoned and is unconscious or has difficulty breathing, call 911.
  • Visit  for more information about how to prevent poisonings.
  • Visit for more information about the Up and Away and Out of Sight program

Prevent Child Injury created a new toolkit for National Poison Prevention Week, which can be utilized to promote safe use, storage, and disposal of medicines and vitamins. The toolkit contains a  user guide, project materials, and existing resources for medication safety. The toolkit can be found here.

Brain Injury Awareness Month- March, 2014

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. A traumatic brain injury (TBI)  results from a  blunt or penetrating injury to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.  TBI occurs in many ways, including from a fall in the home or on a playground, in a motor vehicle collisions, or being struck by an object or another person. The severity of TBI ranges from mild concussions to more severe, life-threatening injuries. There were 43,034 emergency department visits and 4,748 hospitalizations due to TBI in Indiana in 2012. TBI can be prevented, and to find out more information about TBI, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

National Burn Awareness Week: Febuary 2- 8, 2014

Scald injuries is the main focus for the American Burn Association’s Burn Awareness Week 2014. Scald injuries occur when hot liquids or steam causes damage to one or more layers of the skin. Scalds are most likely to occur in the kitchen and the bathroom, and some common sources of scalds include hot tap water, hot food or beverages, and steam.  Scalds are the second leading cause of all burn injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Additionally, children, older adults, and people with disabilities are especially at risk for scalds.

Scalds can be prevented through a few easy environmental and behavioral changes. The American Burn Association recommends the following safety tips to decrease your risk for scalds.

  • Set home water heater thermostats to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Test the water using a candy, meat, or water thermometer after letting the water run for three to five minutes and adjust the water temperature accordingly.
  • Avoid flushing toilets, running water, or using dishwashers and washing machines while someone is showering.
  • Install anti-scald or tempering devices to prevent too hot of water from coming out of the tap. Test bathwater temperatures by moving your hand, wrist, and forearm through the water. The water should feel warm, not hot.
  • Never carry or hold a child while cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids to prevent spilling on the child. 
  • Allow microwaved food to cool prior to eating and open packaging slowly and away from the face.


National Drug Facts Week: January 27-February 2, 2014

National Drug Facts Week is an observance sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and aimed at shattering myths about drugs and drug abuse for teens.  Teens receive incorrect messages from the Internet, TV, music, movies and friends about drug abuse and addiction. About a third of high school seniors have reported using an illicit drug within the past year, more than 10 percent report nonmedical use of prescription painkillers and more than 20 percent report smoking marijuana in the past month.

The interactive National Drug IQ Challenge can be accessed starting January 27, 2014 at NIDA scientists will host a chat day on January 28, 2014 from 8 am to 6 pm EST to provide thousands of teens the answers to their questions about drugs.

Winter Safety

Winter provides new challenges in the injury prevention world. Home fires are more prevalent due in part by an increase in cooking and heating fires, holidaty decorations, and winter storms. Below are some tips to keep your family safe this winter.

Kids Safety

Home Safety

Fire Safety

Fire Prevention Week is October 5-11, 2015. The theme this year is "Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test YoursKitchen Fires."

Falls Prevention for Older Adults


  Summer Safety

Summer is a great time to engage in outdoors activities such as swimming, biking, playing outside, and grilling, but it is also a time when accidents and injuries occur.  By taking simple, common-sense precautions, you can have fun and stay safe at the same time.

Dog Bites

Playground and Bike Safety



Contact Information:

Jessica Skiba
Injury Prevention Epidemiologist, Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention

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