May 30,

Injury Prevention

Injury Prevention

Every 30 seconds someone visits an emergency department in Ontario because of an injury. (Injuries in Ontario ICES 2005)

Injuries result from unsafe environments, conditions and behaviours. By recognizing, changing, and controlling these factors, most injuries can be prevented.

Injuries include all the ways people can be physically hurt, impaired or killed, involving unintentional or intentional damage to the body.

Examples of unintentional injuries include motor vehicle crashes, falls, sport injuries and unintentional poisoning.

Intentional injuries may include those resulting from violence, self harm and suicide.

Injuries, excluding adverse events in medical care, are the leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 1 and 44 and the fourth leading cause of death for Canadians of all ages (Public health Agency of Canada)

Injury prevention is a component of harm reduction and public health, and its goal is to improve the health of the population by preventing injuries and hence improving quality of life.

Some people still use  the term “accidental injury”. However, “accidental” implies the causes of injuries are random in nature.Researchers use the term “unintentional injury” to refer to injuries that are non-volitional but preventable. Within the field of public health, efforts are also made to prevent or reduce “intentional injury.”

Linda Yenssen, Manager, Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre,

“Changing public perception that injuries are not accidents is an important step in moving people to change their attitudes toward safety and risk-taking behaviour.”

Last modified on Jan 30, 2017