Injuries and violence kill 180,000 people each year. Motor vehicle crashes, falls, homicides, and other types of injury events kill more people in the first half of life than any other cause — including cancer, HIV, or the flu. And they cost more than $406 billion in medical care and lost productivity each year. If you yourself have not been seriously impacted by injury or violence, you probably know someone who has.
But what does that mean for public health? Where do injuries and violence fit into the plan to help people be able to live their lives to the fullest potential?
This week the public health world comes together to commemorate National Public Health Week. The week is represented with daily themes that show how injury and violence topics fit into the key areas of public health, where we continue to work on saving and improving lives across the nation.
Ensuring a Safe, Healthy Home for Your Family:
- Falls – Older Adults: There are proven interventions that can reduce falls and help older adults live better. These include exercise, reviewing medicines that can cause dizziness or drowsiness, having regular eye exams, and removing tripping hazards in the home.
- Protect the Ones You Love: Learn the steps parents and caregivers can take to prevent the leading causes of child injury.
- National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention: This plan focuses on common goals and a national effort to reduce injuries to children in the United States.
Providing a Safe Environment for Children at School:
- Heads Up: We train youth and high school sports coaches, parents, athletes, and health care professionals around the country to prevent, recognize, and respond when a youth athlete has a concussion.
- Playground Injuries: Children can play safely when the playground is designed to prevent injuries, when the children are properly supervised, and when children wear protective gear for certain activities such as bicycling or skateboarding.
Creating a Healthy Workplace:
- Prevention injuries at work: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of CDC, works to prevent work-related injuries. Information on preventing injuries at work is available on the NIOSH website at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/
Protecting You While You’re on the Move:
- Motor Vehicle Safety: We focus on increasing the use of child safety seats, booster seats, and seat belts. We work to reduce alcohol-impaired driving and to improve safe driving practices in teen drivers and older adult drivers. CDC also works to prevent injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Distracted Driving: Using a cell phone, texting/emailing, and eating are all major distractions that can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash. Read more about the recent research study that compares the behaviors of drivers in the United States with seven European countries.
Empowering a Healthy Community:
- Core VIPP: We provide funding and technical assistance to states through our Core Violence and Injury Prevention Program (Core VIPP). The program strengthens the capacity of 20 state health departments to collect and use data for a better understanding of local injury issues and to protect their residents by putting science into action to save lives and prevent injuries.
- STRYVE: Through its interacting components, STRYVE (Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere) helps communities take a public health approach to preventing youth violence—stopping it before it starts.
- Go to the CDC Injury Center Funded Programs and Initiatives page to see how we work with national organizations, state health agencies, and other key groups to develop, implement, and promote effective injury and violence prevention and control practices.
Go to the National Public Health Week page for more information on the observance week, and what you can do to get involved.