Monthly Archives: September 2012

BMC’s Lisa Allee to be Celebrated as a YouthConnect 2012 Partnership Award Honoree


 YouthConnect is excited to  

announce the  

2012 Partnership Award Honorees  

at our 2nd Annual  

Fall Partnership Breakfast

Lisa Allee, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Section of Acute Care & Trauma Surgery, Director of the Community Violence Response Team, Boston Medical Center 

Edmund Ansin/WHDH-Channel 7, Owner & President, Sunbeam Television 

Ronald Ansin, Honorary YouthConnect Advisory Board Chair

Chris Byner, Director of External Affairs, Boston Centers for Youth & Families

Special Guests:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino

Police Commissioner Ed Davis

District Attorney Dan Conley


YouthConnect’s 16th year of helping our communities’ most at-risk youth through Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s partnership with the Boston Police Department.

Sponsors To Date: 

The Boston Foundation – John & Mary Boyle

Ryan & Bronwen Carroll – Charlesbank Capital Partners Michael & Germaine Choe – Laurence & Deborah Chud Jonathan & Margot Davis – Devonshire Foundation

Eastern Bank – Michael & Barbara Eisenson

Richard Friedman – Joe & Ruthanne Fuller

Jonathan Goodman & Elizabeth Silverman

Great Hill Partners – Marcia & Jeff Herrmann

Tony & Sue Howland – Joshua Klevens & Anna Sinaiko

The Parthenon Group – State Street Corporation

Donald K. Stern – Robert & Karen Sweet

Frank Wisneski & Lynn Dale

Sponsored By:  
Learn more about the Constant Contact Cares4Kids program   

The “Constant Contact Cares4Kids” program supports educational and social non-profit organizations that help children. Learn more about the Cares4Kids program.

More than 500,000 small businesses and organizations trust Constant Contact to connect with their customers and members. Signup for a free 60-day trial.

Don’t Be A Bicycling Statistic: One Key Way To Stay Safer



Tanya Connolly, 37, crushed under a tractor-trailer in South Boston last Monday. Doan Bui, 63, killed by a speeding pickup truck on a busy Dorchester thoroughfare the Friday before. Alexander Motsenigos, 41, victim of a hit-and-run in surburban Wellesley late last month.

In major metropolitan areas like Boston, it often seems as if every week brings news of another bicycling death — or, as in this past week, more than one — usually in an unequal clash between vehicle and rider. Biking experts say that as more people take to two-wheel travel — surely a good thing — more accidents are also likely. Below, writer David C. Holzman describes his own bike crash, and shares a key safety technique that many riders ignore: Helmets save lives, but they have to be worn right.

By David C. Holzman
Guest contributor

The treetops seemed far away, as if through the wrong end of a telescope. They were all green, leafy, and dreamlike — like my memory of Seattle before I moved away at age eight.

The dream quickly soured as it began to dawn on me that I might have had a bicycle crash. But that didn’t make sense. Even in my stupor, I remembered that I was a very experienced cyclist, and very safety-conscious.

I began trying to wake myself up, as I’d done so easily in the lucid dreams of my early childhood. But it wasn’t working, and I couldn’t even shift the scene. Shock was cushioning me, like emotional Novocaine; nonetheless, I could feel the fear growing ominously more perceptible.

“When you are hit by a car, if your helmet can move, it will.’
Now I saw two women standing over me. “Am I dreaming?” I asked, fully expecting I was. (I had to be. Crashes didn’t happen to me.) “No, honey, you not dreaming,” one of them said in a dialect common in northeast Washington, DC.


I took five or ten seconds to grasp that I really was lying on my back in the street, and not in a bad dream. Once I did, I thanked the women “for watching over me,” actually thinking that they had come to protect me, the feelings of gratitude washing over me like an ocean wave on a beach.

Then one of them asked me for two dollars. Heretofore, I hadn’t moved a voluntary muscle outside of those involved in speech, but now, almost as if her voice was a hotline to my motor cortex, I pulled my wallet from my pocket, opened it, found a twenty and two ones, and gave her the latter. Had she asked for the twenty, I probably would have given that to her.

Memorial for a bicycle crash victim in Cambridge (Rachel Zimmerman)

Memorial for a bicycle crash victim in Cambridge (Rachel Zimmerman)

Soon the women had disappeared, and a crowd gathered. I asked someone where I was. I was able to trace the route in my mind from my home, at 1200 Jackson St. North East, two miles to Rhode Island Avenue and First Street North West, but I still didn’t know where I had been going, or even whether I still worked at Insight Magazine, or whether I had been laid off, an event which had occurred four and a half months earlier.

Then someone informed me that my face was “all messed up.” I don’t understand why, but suddenly my head was much clearer, and I knew I would be fine.

I looked at my watch. It was 8:20 a.m. on September 6, 1991. I realized I’d been on my way to the doctor’s office, for an annual checkup. I’d crashed about 10 minutes earlier. I’d have to reschedule the appointment.

The guy who told me my face was messed up was partially correct. As my then-four-year-old niece, Beth, said with obvious bemusement when she first saw me the next day, “Uncle David, you need to wash your face!”

I’d been going around 15 to 18 mph when I hit a large bump in the road that I hadn’t seen, wrenching the handlebars out of my hands. That’s the last thing I remember. Despite the tight chin straps, the force of the crash on my helmet had pushed it so far askew that my cheekbone had kissed the pavement, acquiring an impressive bruise, and a laceration which I think had to be taped shut. Luckily the straps had been tight enough to keep my helmet on my skull, or I probably would not be writing this warning.

So I’ve been appalled to see air between the chin straps of helmets and the chins of about one third of the cyclists on the Minuteman Trail, where I run or ride my bicycle just about every day. Chin straps on helmets should be snug, like one’s shoe laces.  

When I informed one woman — a graduate of the University of California at Davis, no less — that her helmet was too loose, she used one finger from each hand to very daintily apply torque to her helmet, to show me that it was tight. Others have similarly shown their ignorance of the power of the forces that occur during a crash. If bicycle crashes were that gentle, you wouldn’t need to wear a helmet.

Randy Swart, director of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute in Arlington, VA: “Some riders leave their straps so loose–or even unbuckled–that in a crash the helmet may move enough to leave part of the head uncovered, and if that hits the pavement, the likelihood of disabling brain damage becomes much greater. Other riders leave the straps less loose, but still loose enough that the helmet could be dislodged in a first impact — whether with a car or the pavement — leaving the head vulnerable to any secondary impact, just as if you were not wearing a helmet at all.”

I consider the bicycle shops and other stores selling helmets and failing to inform customers of the need for tight chin straps to be grossly irresponsible. Guys, are you listening?

My former optometrist had to give up her practice after she fell on a bicycle path, hitting her bare head, while barely moving.


Of course, many cyclists don’t wear helmets at all. If you’re cycling without a helmet, or with loose chin straps, you’re taking your livelihood, and perhaps your life, into your hands, even on a bicycle path. My former optometrist had to give up her practice after she fell on a bicycle path, hitting her bare head, while barely moving.


Helmet use reduces the risk of head injury by 85 percent, according to an estimate by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute says is the best source of bicycle fatality statistics on the web. In New York City, three quarters of all fatal crashes involved a head injury, and nearly all bicyclists who died -— 97% -— were not wearing a helmet, according to the helmet safety institute. (That statistic may be due partially to helmet-wearing cyclists being safer riders than those without helmets.)

According to the Snell Memorial Foundation, “the number of bicycling head injuries requiring hospitalization exceeds the total of all the head injury cases related to baseball, football, skateboards, kick scooters, horseback riding, snowboarding, ice hockey, in-line skating, and lacross.” (No statistics were given on the numbers of cyclists, vs. the numbers in all these other pursuits, so this comparison, while compelling, is hard to interpret.)

How to pick a safe helmet

In buying a bicycle helmet, “The most important thing is to make sure it fits properly,” says Swart of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. “It needs to fit so that it feels snug on your head and so that it won’t move more than an inch in any direction. When you are hit by a car, if your helmet can move, it will.”

All bicycle helmets are designed to the same Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) standard, says Swart, adding that a helmet with a higher price doesn’t mean it’s a better helmet. (If the helmet is not certified by the CSPC, or by ANSI or Snell for older helmets, don’t buy it.)

Be visible

Besides protecting your head, you want to be visible. To that end, wear one of those lime green cycling jerseys that are hard to miss even from several blocks away. The sooner motorists see you, the less likely they will hit you.

At night, wear light-colored clothing, preferably white. It also helps to have a white helmet. If you do a lot of night riding, you probably should have a very bright headlight and tail light that are also easily visible from the side, as well as from front and back. I don’t bicycle at night anymore, but when I did—infrequently—I used to carry a large white T-shirt in my backpack that could go on over whatever I was already wearing. (I keep a large white T-shirt in the trunk of the car in case I get stuck on the side of the road on a dark night.)

If you cycle infrequently at night and you don’t want to weigh your bicycle down with accessories, the blinking red and white lights you can purchase at most bicycle stores can do a good job of making you visible if you wear them correctly.

Wear enough of them so you can be seen easily from any angle, including a white light for the front. Make sure that when you are in your riding position, they are neither blocked (by a loose shirt or a backpack, for example) or poorly positioned (for example, pointing upwards instead of to the rear when you’re leaning forward on your handlebars). And always make sure your batteries are still strong. I’ve seen cyclists in dark shirts and pants with a single red light pinned to their back, blinking so tepidly as to barely be visible from a couple of car lengths.

If you’re under 35 or so, all this focus on visibility may seem overwrought. But you need to realize that as people age, their night vision often fades.

Look behind you

I’ve found one other piece of safety equipment invaluable. I have a rear-view mirror that attaches to my spectacles. You can also get mirrors that attach to your helmet. Either works far better, in my opinion, than handlebar-mounted mirrors because you can move your head to scan behind you.

I got my first such mirror just before I rode across the country. It took the stress out of cycling on the long stretches in the Great Plains of North Dakota, when it seemed that all the grain trucks in the world were headed towards Duluth. When they were about to pass, I could see exactly how big they were and exactly how much room they were going to give us, and I could ignore their frequent honking, although one time I really did need to get onto the soft shoulder. I saved myself a lot of stress with that mirror, and my travel-mates were envious. It makes city traffic less stressful, too. In fact, the one time I broke one and didn’t have a spare, I was afraid to ride until I replaced it.

Tips for drivers

 1. Give cyclists at least several feet when you pass them. Passing too close is very scary, and dangerous.

2. When you pass them, pass quickly. Cambridge drivers, in particular, seem to feel so guilty about driving—cars being evil and all—that they drive extremely slowly. I’ve had Cambridge drivers pass me so slowly that in the time they took to get around me, we could have had coffee together, like Henry Louis Gates, the police officer, and President Obama. When you do that to me, O Cambridge driver, you make me so nervous that if we were having coffee, I’d probably spill it all over myself, staining my lime green jersey. Just hit the gas and get around me!

3. Don’t honk at us. You startle the H-E-double hockeysticks out of us when you do. Rest assured we can hear you just fine without the horn.

4. Don’t open your car door without looking to see if a cyclist is coming. If you “door” a cyclist, you can seriously injure or kill them. A good way to get into the habit of looking is to open your car door with your right hand (if you’re on the left side of the car).

5. Add your own. Readers, do you have any tips to add for drivers or bicyclists?

Science and automotive journalist David Holzman


David C. Holzman wrote his first-ever article that was not for the college newspaper on bicycle safety. An avid cyclist, he figured that knowledge would boost his odds of avoiding trouble. By the time of the incident portrayed in this article, he’d logged around 60,000 miles total, much of it on the city streets of Washington, DC.

 *Courtesy of Common Health


“Head Games”: Film focuses on concussions and consequences

“Head Games” is an expansion off of the novel written by Chris Nowinski, co-director of the Center for Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) at Boston University’s School of Medicine.

Head GamesVariance Films“Head Games” looks at how concussions have become an issue in sports like football and soccer.


“How much of you are you willing to lose for a game?”

That’s the question posed by “Head Games,” a documentary about the concussion crisis in American sports produced and directed by Academy Award winner Steve James. Through interviews with doctors, parents, journalists and professional and amateur athletes across a variety of sports, “Head Games” lays out the current state of the concussion landscape, separating what is known from the unknown and helping viewers understand the issue.

“In the film we didn’t feel it was our place to proselytize one way or the other on this question,” said James, who won an Oscar for his 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams.” “We felt like the most important thing we could do is do our best to lay out what we know, what we don’t know and some of the experiences of parents and athletes, what they’re going through as they try to navigate this question and leave it to you the viewer at the end to decide where you stand on this.”

The film is based on the book of the same name by Chris Nowinski, the former WWE wrestler and all-Ivy League football player at Harvard and who has become a concussion activist. Nowinski has been instrumental in raising awareness about the long-term effects of brain trauma in football players and as a co-director of the Center for Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) at Boston University’s School of Medicine, has urged athletes to donate their brains for study. The film expands on Nowinski’s 2006 book to look at the effect concussions have in other sports beyond football, including hockey and soccer.

Head GamesCourtesy Variance Films ‘Head Games’ opens at select theaters across the country on Sept. 21 and will also be available via VOD through numerous cable providers. Visit the film’s website for more information.

“I think it’s incredibly important to expand concussion discussion into sports other than football and especially sports that women play,” Nowinski said. “It has been neglected and it needs the exact same attention because they have the same negative consequences no matter what sports you play or what gender you are.”

While most casual sports fans are likely familiar with the issue of head trauma in football and hockey as those issues have received national attention through the NFL and NHL, “Head Games” sheds light on a narrative that doesn’t get as much publicity — the alarming rate of concussions in women’s soccer. This story is shared primarily through former soccer player Cindy Parlow-Cone.

A four-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion at the University of North Carolina, Parlow (at age 17) became the youngest player ever to win an Olympic gold medal and a world championship as a member of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. At 6 feet tall, Parlow scored more than 50 percent of her goals with her head.

Parlow suffered her first soccer-related concussion in 2001 during a Women’s United Soccer Association game when she made head-to-head contact with a teammate on an attempted header. After being knocked out by that collision, Parlow saw stars on headers during practice and games. Parlow retired in 2006 at the age of 28 due to post-concussion syndrome. She will be the first female athlete to donate her brain to Boston University’s CSTE for further study after she dies.

“If anybody can learn something from me — in women’s soccer I’ve been one of the forefront people that were known for having concussions and had a lot of concussions and I’ve been diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome,” Parlow said. “If they can learn anything from my brain to protect other athletes, other kids, I think it’s a wonderful thing to do.”

In the film, Parlow candidly recounts in detail the impact post-concussion syndrome has had on her life. She had a stutter for many years and still keeps her GPS on in the car at all times, even when she’s driving in familiar territory.

“I still have a lot of headaches and then I still have a lot of jaw pain,” Parlow said. “Those are the two things that I mostly have. For a long time, I was on daily medication to prevent the headaches and migraines but luckily, after eight years, I was finally able to come off of those.”

Parlow believes that some of the long-term impact of her post-concussion syndrome might have been avoided (or at least mitigated) by more effective management of her head trauma.

“I think once you know better, you do better. And we just didn’t know better when I was playing,” Parlow said. “You didn’t really think twice about seeing stars after you got hit in the head. It was just part of it. I never really thought twice about it. I think now, as we educate more of our athletes, we make sure that they know the symptoms and know that it’s not normal to see stars. I think that is going to help prevent future issues like I’m having.”

Parlow now lives in North Carolina where she coaches youth soccer with the Triangle United Soccer Association. In her role as a coach, Parlow can utilize many of the lessons that weren’t implemented when she played.

“Any time I see any sort of impact on the head, I immediately sub the kid out,” Parlow said. “And if I have any concerns whatsoever that they could possibly have the smallest of concussions, they’re sitting out regardless … I educate my players and make sure that they know the symptoms and try to have an open conversation with them so that they feel comfortable coming to me and letting me know if they’re having any issues.”

Dealing with the athletes represents one challenge of handling concussions. Managing parents who want to know why their child isn’t playing is another matter.

“I’ve been in quite a few difficult situations where the parents were very angry at me for holding a kid out due to a concussion,” Parlow said. “I’ve explained to them why I have them sitting out. And I tell them I may be more sensitive to this than the normal coach because I have a lot of experience with this. Then I’ll also follow it up with research articles to the parents so they understand where I’m coming from. And the two times that I’ve had parents react negatively to it, after I’ve sent them the research, they’ve come back in and have thanked me and then apologized and told me they were completely in the wrong.”

With women involved in sports at much higher rates in large part due to Title IX, Parlow believes education about the risks of getting a concussion has become more important than ever.

“Sports are a wonderful thing for kids to play. They also come with risks, just like anything else,” Parlow said. “It’s important to be diligent and to make sure you’re educated and to follow the protocols even if it means missing a big game or a big tournament, a big recruiting opportunity. Because you only have one brain. It’s important to take care of it and we’re not doing brain transplants. It’s not like an ankle sprain where maybe you can play through an ankle sprain. You shouldn’t play through a concussion.

“We’re telling our athletes to be strong and to be tough, but there are certain things you don’t play through and a concussion is one of those things.”

Parlow’s experiences as a player and coach reflect one of the key goals of the film. The filmmaker hopes parents and their children who compete in contact sports see this film so that they can have an educated discussion about the issue.

“We want parents and young athletes to be able to sit down after watching a movie like this and really talk about this issue and talk about it from a position of really knowing a lot more than they had going in about the nature of concussions, about what can complicate concussions, what can aggravate them, what can make it worse,” James said. “So that they can have a real discussion of what this means for their participation in these sports.”…

Courtesy of ESPN 

Safe Youth. Safe Schools.

Photo: A group of students

Keep children safe. While our nation’s schools are expected to be safe havens for learning, unintentional injuries and even violence can occur, disrupting the educational process and negatively affecting the school and surrounding community.

Fresh haircuts, new clothes, and backpacks stuffed with markers, pencils, and binders—everything a child needs to start a new school year. As millions of students return to school this fall, teachers will plan their school supply list, and parents will carefully make sure their child is prepared with each and every item. However, safety should also be on every teacher’s and student’s back-to-school list.

Parents, students, educators, and community members can all take action to keep children safe—in and away from school.

Get to School Safely

  • Walk to School Safely
    Children face an increased risk for pedestrian injuries. You can help by learning more about these risks and steps you can take to promote pedestrian safety in your community.
  • Child Passenger Safety
    Motor vehicle injuries are the greatest public health problem facing children today. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children in the United States. Learn how to keep children safe by using an age- and size-appropriate restraint system.
  • Teen Driver Safety
    One out of three deaths among US teens are the result of a motor vehicle crash. During a teen’s first year of driving, crash risk is particularly high. Learn tips and facts to help a new driver arrive at school safely.
  • Teens Behind the Wheel: Graduated Driver Licensing
    Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems address the high risks new drivers face and are proven methods for helping teens to become safer drivers. Research shows that strict and comprehensive GDL systems reduce both fatal and nonfatal injury crashes.

School Safety

A teacher with her students

  • Youth Violence
    Homicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the United States. Behaviors such as bullying and hitting often start at a young age and may continue into young adulthood. Youth violence can often lead to serious injury or death.
  • School Violence
    While US schools remain relatively safe, any amount of violence is unacceptable. Parents, teachers, and administrators expect schools to be safe havens of learning. Acts of violence can disrupt the learning process and have a negative effect on students, the school itself, and the broader community.
  • Sexual Violence
    Sexual violence begins early in life. Approximately 80% of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half ex­perienced the first rape before age 18. Most victims do not tell friends and family about the abuse and suffer alone. Those who do disclose the violence may be stigmatized by friends, family, and their community.
  • Youth Suicide
    Suicide (taking one’s own life) is a serious public health problem that affects even young people. For youth and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. It results in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year.
  • School Health Guidelines to Prevent Unintentional Injuries and Violence
    These guidelines are designed to prevent unintentional injuries and violence. Guidelines promote safety and teach students the skills needed to prevent injuries and violence. They are designed for all grade levels and provide support for a coordinated school health program.
  • School Health Index (SHI)
    This index is a self-assessment and planning tool that enables schools to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs, develop an action plan for improving student health and safety, and to involve teachers, parents, students, and the community in improving school services.

Safety During Sports and Physical Activity

  • Playground Injuries
    Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Learn about risks, and how to avoid severe injuries associated with playgrounds.
  • Heads Up to Schools: Know Your Concussion ABCs
    A child can take a spill, knock his/her head, and get a concussion in any number of school settings ranging from the hallway, the playground, the cafeteria, and beyond. This flexible set of materials, developed for professionals working with grades K-12, helps principals, school nurses, teachers or other school professionals to identify and respond to concussions in an array of school settings.

Additional Resources

Students in a classroom

  • Healthy Youth: Injury and Violence
  • CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health promotes the health and well-being of children and adolescents to enable them to become healthy and productive adults.
  • School Health Guidelines to Prevent Unintentional Injuries and Violence
    This report summarizes school health recommendations for preventing unintentional injury, violence, and suicide among young persons.
  • Department of EducationExternal Web Site Icon
    The Department of Education seeks to ensure equal access to education and promote educational excellence nationwide. The agency provides parents, teachers, and school administrators with various resources on school safety and youth violence prevention.
  • i-SAFEExternal Web Site Icon
    i-SAFE is a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting the online experiences of youth everywhere. i-SAFE combines classroom curriculum with community outreach to empower students, teachers, parents, law enforcement, and concerned adults to make the internet a safer place.
  • National Organizations for Youth SafetyExternal Web Site Icon
    The National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS) is a coalition composed of national organizations and federal agencies that serve youth. Primary focus is on youth safety and health. NOYS Web site includes information about membership, research, and resources concerning youth safety.
  • Out on a Limb: A Guide to Getting AlongExternal Web Site Icon
    This Web site, developed by the University of Illinois Extension, is designed to help teach youth how to better manage conflicts and challenges they face on a daily basis.
  • Protect the Ones You Love
    Protect the Ones You Love: Child Injuries Are Preventable is a CDC initiative to raise parents’ awareness about the leading causes of child injury in the United States and how they can be prevented. Working together, we can keep our children safe and help them live to their full potential.
  • Risk Watch (NFPA)External Web Site Icon
    Risk Watch is a school-based curriculum that links teachers with community safety experts and parents. Site provides children and families skills and knowledge needed to create safe homes and communities. Unintentional injuries such as, motor vehicle safety, fire and burn prevention, choking, firearms injury, bike safety, pedestrian safety, and water safety are a few topics covered on the Web site.
  • Safe Kids WorldwideExternal Web Site Icon
    Sake Kids is an international, nonprofit organization solely dedicated to preventing unintentional childhood injury. It promotes changes in attitudes, behaviors, laws and the environment to prevent accidental injury to children.
  • Safe Routes to SchoolExternal Web Site Icon
    The National Center for Safe Routes to Schools helps states and communities enable and encourage children to safely walk and bicycle to school, working with parents, schools, community leaders, and local, state, and federal governments to improve the health and well-being of children. The organization also coordinates and provides technical support for U.S. Walk to School Day.
  • School Safety and Mentoring GuidesExternal Web Site Icon
    The Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence at the George Washington University has developed a series of guides which provide resources, tools, and guidance for creating safe school settings and involving the community in supporting students of all ages.
  • Stop Bullying.govExternal Web Site Icon provides information from various government agencies on how kidsExternal Web Site Icon , teensExternal Web Site Icon , young adultsExternal Web Site Icon , parentsExternal Web Site Icon , educatorsExternal Web Site Icon and others in the communityExternal Web Site Icon can prevent or stop bullying.
  • Striving to Reduce Violence Everywhere (STRYVE)
    STRYVE, or Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere, is a national initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent youth violence before it starts. STRYVE seeks to increase awareness that youth violence can and should be prevented and to promote the use of prevention strategies based on the best available evidence.
  • Students Against Destructive DecisionsExternal Web Site Icon
    Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is a peer leadership organization dedicated to preventing destructive decisions, particularly underage drinking, drug use, impaired driving, teen violence, teen depression, and suicide. The Web site offers ideas for educational campaigns, research, and statistics about issues important to teens.
  • Students Against Violence EverywhereExternal Web Site Icon
    This organization gives students tools to learn crime prevention, conflict management skills, and the virtues of good citizenship, civility, and nonviolence.
  • Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop Bullying Now CampaignExternal Web Site Icon
    Stop Bullying Now provides information and resources on how to identify and prevent bullying in schools. The site is produced by the Health Resources and Services Administration, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Research/Data Sources

  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) School Project
    Research has shown that proper environmental design can reduce crime and fear associated with criminal activity. An effectively designed environment can improve the overall quality of life. CDC is studying how changes in the physical environment of schools can encourage pro-social behavior while reducing fear and violence.
  • Effectiveness of Universal School-Based Programs for Preventing Violence
    Research has shown that proper environmental design can reduce crime and fear associated with criminal activity. An effectively designed environment can improve the overall quality of life. CDC is studying how changes in the physical environment of schools can encourage pro-social behavior while reducing fear and violence.
  • Indicators of School Crime and SafetyExternal Web Site Icon
    CDC contributes to the Department of Education’s annual report on school crime and student safety. This report provides the most recent data available from many independent sources.
  • School-Associated Violent Deaths Study
    In partnership with Departments of Education and Justice, CDC has conducted a national study of school-associated violent deaths since 1992. This ongoing study plays an important role in monitoring trends in lethal school violence, identifying risk factors, and assessing the effects of prevention efforts.
  • School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS)
    SHPPS is a national survey conducted periodically to assess school health policies and programs at state, district, school, and classroom levels. SHPPS provides information on health education, programs, environmental strategies, and policies that schools, districts, and states use to address violence and suicide prevention.
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
    CDC’s YRBSS monitors health risk behaviors, including violence that contributes to the leading causes of death and disability among young people in the United States. The YRBSS includes national, state, and local school-based surveys of representative samples of 9th through 12th grade students.

*Courtesy of Center for Disease Control and Prevention



At Home, At Play and On the Way: Preventing Hyperthermia in Our Children

Did You Know

You might be surprised to hear that a child can die from heat stroke on a 72-degree day. There’s a medical reason why this happens to children – their bodies aren’t the same as adults. A child’s body can heat up five times faster than an adult’s.

Now think of how your car usually feels warmer inside than out. Did you know that even on a mild day, the temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes? On an 80-degree day, the inside of a closed car can quickly reach 100 degrees in the time it takes to run into the store for an errand. Heat stroke happens when the body cannot cool itself fast enough and the core temperature rises to dangerous levels.

What You Can Do

“Couldn’t happen to me,” you say? Of course, that’s what every parent says, including those who experience it at some later date.

It could happen to to you. But these deaths are preventable – not inevitable. Take a moment to learn how to keep your kids safe with simple prevention tips.

The Numbers

Since 1998, more than 550 children across the U.S. have died from hyperthermia, when unattended in a vehicle. Sadly, more than half of these reported heat stroke deaths occurred when a distracted caregiver forgot their child was in the car or truck. Other heat stroke fatalities occurred when a child was playing in an unattended vehicle and became trapped, or when a child was intentionally left unattended by an adult “for just a few minutes.” 

Latest Incidents

Read news stories about recent incidents provided by Jan Null, CCM Department of Geosciences, SFSU

Safety Tips

Since 1998, more than 500 children across the U.S. have died as a result of hyperthermia (also known as heat stroke). For every child who dies after being left alone in a hot car, hundreds more are near misses – those rescued before a fatality. Together we can reduce the number of deaths and near misses by remembering to ACT.

Safety TipTop Tips for Preventing Hyperthermia


Remember ACT

  • Avoid heat stroke-related injury and death by:
    • Never leaving your child alone in the car, even for a minute.
    • Consistently locking unattended vehicle doors and trunks.
  • Create reminders and habits that give you and your child’s caregiver a safety net:
    • Establish a peace-of-mind plan. When you drop off your child, make a habit of calling or texting all other caregivers, so all of you know where your child is at all times.
    • Place a purse, briefcase, gym bag, cell phone or an item that is needed at your next stop in a back seat.
    • Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer calendar as a reminder to drop your child off at childcare.
  • Take action if you see an unattended child in a vehicle:
    • Dial 911 immediately and follow the instructions that emergency personnel provide – they are trained to determine if a child is in danger.  



For Safety Tips for Children of All Ages, Click on the Link Below: