Trauma is no accident! Injury prevention focuses on potential injury patterns and promotes or implements these programs to educate the community about preventable injuries. The goal is not only to lead a safe and healthy lifestyle, but to also decrease the number of trauma admissions to the Emergency Room. Programs currently available to the community are listed below.
Child Passenger Safety
For the safety of our athletes and further prevention of concussions, since Sept. 1, 2011, a Minnesota law has required all coaches and officials (public and private) to be trained in identifying concussions. In order to accommodate the regulations of the State, the Centers for Disease Control has created a prevention tool called Heads Up. The program was developed to identify and educate our athletes, parents and coaches on Concussions in Youth Sports. The program provides online training for coaches, as well as a number of printable resources for athletes and their parents. Please take the time to thoroughly review this information so athletes who experience a concussion can be managed appropriately and return to play safely.
Learn more about how to recognize and treat a concussion
Learn more about the Heads Up program
Central Minnesota Fall Prevention & Home Safety Coalition
RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), a department of the City of St. Cloud, works with St. Cloud Hospital, Gold Cross Ambulance, St. Cloud Fire Department, St. Cloud Police Department, Central Minnesota Council on Aging and Spot Rehab to provide a falls prevention program for area seniors. Trained volunteers provide free in-home safety assessments for seniors who live independently.
Learn more about the Falls Prevention Program
Helmet Smart Program
The Helmet Smart Program is located at the Whitney Recreation Center and provides multi-sport helmets to the public at a reduced rate of $10 for children up to age 18 and $15 for those 18 and older. If you would like to purchase a helmet for you or your child, please contact the Whitney Recreation Center at 320-255-7277. All helmets are Snell and CPSC certified.
Visit SafeKidsUSA to learn more about sport-specific safety
Matter of Balance (MOB) Course
Matter of Balance is a successful evidence-based program for older adults. Participants demonstrate significant improvements after completing the course in their level of falls management, falls control, level of exercise and social limitations with regard to concerns about falling.
Visit Healthy Aging Minnesota to learn more about the Matter of Balance Course
Find Matter of Balance Course dates in your area
- Introduction to the Program
- Exploring Thoughts and Concerns about Falling
- Exercise and Fall Prevention
- Assertiveness and Fall Prevention
- Managing Concerns about Falling
- Recognizing Fall-ty Behavior
- Recognizing Fall Hazards in the Home and Community
- Practicing No Fall-ty Habits and Fall Prevention: Putting It All Together
Teen Driving Awareness Program
Toward Zero Deaths Conference
This conference provides a forum for sharing information on best practices in engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency medical/health services and for identifying new approaches to reducing the number of traffic fatalities and life-changing injuries on Minnesota roads. This year the Injury Prevention Specialist will be teaming up with a variety of individuals who focus on road safety, as well as presenting the EVERYTIME program during the outbreak session titled Saving Minnesota’s Youth. Please stay tuned for upcoming event information and registration.
Learn more about the Toward Zero Deaths Conference
Preventing Winter Falls
How do I prevent falls in winter?
Winter in Minnesota is a wonderful time, especially for those who enjoy outdoor activities. A few safety precautions can keep you safe and reduce your risk of falling and suffering injuries.
- Allow yourself extra time. Walking too quickly on a slippery sidewalk can lead to a fall.
- Stretch often and keep muscles flexible. Cold weather makes muscles less elastic.
- Invest in shoes and boots with good traction. There also are traction pieces that can be attached to shoes.
- Walk with a “shuffle” on icy walkways.
- Be focused. Look out for black ice, wet leaves, icy stairs, etc.
- Be cautious and use assistance, such as holding someone’s hand or railings, if they are available.
- Practice strength training and balance exercises, if your health allows. A strong, steady body is more likely to respond and be able to prevent a fall. A great option is Tai Chi, now offered as a class at the Whitney Senior Center in St. Cloud.
- Keep a container of salt and/or sand in your garage or near doors to sprinkle on driveways and sidewalks to reduce snow and ice.
- Do not hesitate to ask for help from family or neighbors to assist with clearing walkways after a snowfall.
The holidays also can present situations which may cause falls or injuries:
- Keep stairs well-lit and free from obstacles. Clutter, alcohol and fatigue are factors that increase the risk of a fall from stairs.
- Be aware of tripping hazards. Decorations, presents under the tree, pets and small children at get-togethers are all potential tripping hazards to watch out for during the holiday season.
- Use appropriate step ladders so you can comfortably reach when hanging lights or decorating tree branches.
What do I watch for if I fall?
Did you know that falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)? Not only that, but people 75 years of age and older have the highest rates of TBI-related hospitalizations and deaths. This is yet another reason why it is important to take precautions to prevent falls, especially when it comes to winter weather. While it is important to be educated on how to prevent falls, it also is important to know what to do in the event a fall does occur.
Symptoms of a mild head injury include:
- Persistent low grade headache
- Trouble concentrating, remembering things, making decisions and solving problems
- Feeling tired and lacking energy or motivation
- Change in sleep patterns
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Loss of taste or smell
- Ringing in ears
- Mood changes
Symptoms of a moderate or severe head injury include:
- Persistent or worsening headache
- Repeated nausea or vomiting
- Convulsions or seizures
- Inability to wake up from sleep
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
- Loss of coordination
- Increased confusion, restlessness or agitation
If you have any of the above symptoms see your provider immediately. If you or your loved one is on blood thinners (such as Warfarin), you should see a health care provider for any bump or blow to the head — even if symptoms are not present. Do not hesitate to seek medical attention; your chances for recovery are best if you are treated right away!
For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Call 320-255-7265 to schedule a free home safety assessment by the Trips, Slips and Broken Hips Home Safety Coalition.