Injuries, such as falls, motor vehicle crashes, intimate partner violence and child maltreatment, are a major public health issue. Unintentional and violence-related injuries cause nearly 180,000 deaths each year, and are the leading cause of death for people age 1 to 44. In addition, millions of people are treated in emergency rooms or hospitalized due to injuries each year.
With physical and economic consequences, each year's injuries lead to estimated lifetime costs of $406 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity. Injury crosses all boundaries and can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex, race or socioeconomic background.
While injury and violence have a significant burden, they are also largely preventable. Recognizing the social and economic burden of injury and violence is critical to determine the appropriate level of intervention and investment into prevention activities. NCSL staff has created or compiled on library of resources on injury and violence prevention topics.
Progress has been made in preventing child injury. Child injury death rates have decreased 29 percent in the last decade. Yet injury is still the leading cause of death for children and teens.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome covers a variety of symptoms associated with the violent shaking of an infant or young child. This shaking usually occurs when a caretaker becomes frustrated such as when the child is crying. Prevention efforts typically include educating new parents on the dangers of shaken baby syndrome and coping mechanisms to resolve parental anger or frustration.
- CDC Heads Up: Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), a form of abusive head trauma (AHT) and inflicted traumatic brain injury (ITBI), is a preventable and severe form of physical child abuse. This page offers information and resources to prevent shaken baby syndrome.
- National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
The National Center's mission is “to educate and train parents and professionals, and to conduct research that will prevent the shaking and abuse of infants in the United States”.
Suicide is among the leading cause of death among teens and adults, accounting for about 4,400 deaths annually. Among high school students in 2007, 15 percent report having seriously considered suicide in the past year, 11 percent created a suicide plan and 7 percent attempted suicide.
- CDC Suicide Prevention
General CDC information about suicide prevention.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
National organization that provides research, education and outreach to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies, and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
Youth violence is a serious public health problem that affects physical, mental and emotional health.
- Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere, STRYVE
A national initiative, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which takes a public health approach to preventing youth violence before it starts.
- Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center
Harvard produces knowledge through research, reproduces knowledge through higher education, and translates knowledge into evidence that can be communicated to the public, policy makers, and practitioners to advance the health of populations.
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Sexual violence may include rape, stalking or unwanted sexual comments or advances, where consent is not obtained or freely given, regardless of the relationship with the victim. Sexual violence affects an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health and is recognized as a serious public health problem. Sexual violence occurring between intimate partners is most common, and carries a heavy financial burden; $4.1 billion annually in medical and mental health care costs, and almost $1 billion in lost productivity.
- CDC Sexual Violence
Sexual violence (SV) is any sexual act that is perpetrated against someone's will and encompasses a range of offenses, including a completed nonconsensual sex act, an attempted nonconsensual sex act, abusive sexual contact, and non-contact sexual abuse. These four types are defined in more detail on this page.
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center serves as the nation’s principle information and resource center regarding all aspects of sexual violence.
Every 13 seconds in the United States a poison control center receives a call about an unintentional poisoning. Ninety-three percent of poisonings happen in the home. More than half of the two million poisoning incidents each year involve children younger than six years of age. The most common exposures in children less than six years old were cosmetics or personal care products. According to the Institute of Medicine, every dollar spent on poison control center services saves $7 in medical spending.
- CDC Poisoning Homepage
CDC website includes facts, research, and activities surrounding poisoning.
- National Safety Council: Safety At Home - Poisoning
Poisonings include the unintentional overdose, misuse of over-the-counter, prescription and illicit drugs, or unintentional exposure to household chemicals and other substances. This website includes information and resources regarding the different types of poisoning.
Graduated Driver Licensing
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for 36 percent of all deaths in this age group. In 2004, 4,767 teens ages 16 to 19 died of injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes. The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among those ages 16 to 19 than other age groups. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash. Research suggests that the most strict and comprehensive graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems are associated with reductions of 38 percent in fatal and 40 percent in non-fatal injury crashes involving 16-year-old drivers.
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