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  1. Ivan Barry Pless
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ivan Barry Pless, Retired, 434 Lansdowne, Westmount, Quebec, Canada H3Y2V2; barry.pless{at}

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Hopkins’ three decades of injury research

The celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) is an opportunity to extol two distinguished injury prevention leaders: Sue Baker, the founder of CIRP, and its current director, Andrea Gielen. Sue created the Center in 1987, well before the field of injury prevention had fully emerged. Over the next three decades, the Center's multidisciplinary team has focused on the leading causes of injuries and prevention strategies—airbags, smoke alarms, bike helmets and childproofing. The Center has a three-part mission—research, education and translating research into practice. Increasingly, it is addressing disparities in injury rates and access to prevention. Currently, CIRP has been involved in combatting the rapid rise in deaths from prescription drug overdoses. Last year, senior engineering students at Hopkins designed a pill dispenser that is tamper resistant, uses fingerprint technology, and can only be opened by a pharmacist. Comment: Baker and Gielen are role models whose careers should be studied by all newcomers to the field.

Improving child passenger safety

In California, beginning in 2017, all children under age 2 must be in a rear-facing safety seat. This is based on evidence that children are four times safer in this position. The new law is one of three intended to enhance child safety. However, it seems the other two are not being followed or enforced. One makes it illegal to leave a child under age 7 alone in a car if the keys are in the ignition or if there is a significant risk from hot or cold weather. The second makes it illegal to smoke in a car with a child. Comment: Are laws that are not enforced effective? The answer is not as simple as you may assume.

Calls to soften helmet laws

Seattle is the home of one of the world's leading injury prevention research centres. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.