By Samantha Munro
Every May, the American Trauma Society and Society of Trauma Nurses celebrate National Trauma Awareness Month (NTAM). Since being designated by President Ronald Reagan and Congress in 1988, National Trauma Awareness Month has continued to highlight and prevent major causes of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. – distracted driving, sports injuries, water safety, helmet use, red light running and more. The campaign, developed by the ATS and STN and supported by other trauma-based organizations, offers injury prevention and trauma awareness materials for use by healthcare facilities, providers and communities.
The American Red Cross joins the American Trauma Society (ATS) and The Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) this month in bringing awareness to “Prevention is the Key: Safety is a Choice.” While the theme focuses on roadway safety, we campaign for home fire preparedness through “Sounding the Alarm!” In fact, we recently achieved a significant milestone; Red Cross volunteers installed 2.5 million free home smoke alarms across the country through our Home Fire Campaign, a community initiative focused on preventing the loss of lives, injury and trauma caused by fires.
During Trauma Awareness Month, we focus mostly on physical trauma, but we can’t forget to include the emotional and mental trauma that occurs with a car accident or disaster ( natural or manmade). All of these traumas wound the soul, where there is no quick fix as with a car or a house. Thus, knowing the physical trauma you sustain during a car accident results in the emotional trauma that comes with it, we must continue to be vigilant in our everyday activities. It only takes seconds of distracted driving to change your life and the lives of others. Thus, “Prevention is the Key” and “Safety is a Choice” we all must make!
It is important to note that the American Red Cross not only provide physical help those who are victims of a disaster, but we also care for their spiritual and emotional health as well. Not only do those experiencing a disaster have to physically rebuild again, but they also must rebuild the soul!
Disasters will always be a hard thing to manage, but with more people educated on how to prepare and prevent, more lives can be saved! It takes us all working together, the community, law enforcement and national disaster relief agencies to lessen the impact on an already devastating situation! Be part of the relief by volunteering with Red Cross today!