The 3rd annual National Injury Prevention Day is designed to raise awareness about the burden of injury and violence and the need for change. It is dedicated to educating and empowering communities to make a difference in work toward reducing injuries and deaths.
Unintentional injuries and violence are the leading causes of death and hospitalization for people ages 1 to 44. Every year they lead to more than 278,345 deaths, 2.8 million hospitalizations, and 18.5 million emergency department visits. The total cost of injury and violence in the United States is approximately $4.2 trillion per year.
It is important to note that these injuries and deaths are often preventable, and that there is a public health and financial return on prevention investment through implementation of research-based policies and programs. These include bicycle helmets and laws mandating their use; fall prevention programs for seniors; primary seat belt and child restraint laws and related public information campaigns; safe home and infant safe sleep practices; graduated driver's licenses for new teen drivers; traumatic brain injury screening and prevention; secure firearm storage education and practice; and youth suicide prevention efforts. In addition to addressing risk factors, it is equally important to foster resiliency and address inequities leading to injury and violence so that all people have safe and nurturing relationships, are connected to family, peers, and community, and have access to the basic resources necessary to thrive like housing, early childhood home visitation, child tax credits, and other evidence-based injury prevention strategies.
The combined strength of injury and violence prevention organizations across the country coming together on November 18th sends a solid unified message: it's time for change. A founding National Injury Prevention Day partner organization has articulated a vision of a nation free from injury and violence that prioritizes that all people, no matter who they are or where they live, are safe where they live, work, travel, and play. All partners are working to that end.
On National Injury Prevention Day, in addition to raising awareness to prevent injuries and acts of violence, communities across the country will be empowered with knowledge about safety practices, products, and policies. Step up and be a part of the change! Wear green that day, do what you can to make a difference in your community, and when the sun goes down, shine a green light to light the way toward change. Green represents life, safety, health, growth, and prosperity, all good things along life's path.
The following organizations commit to join forces to support and promote National Injury Prevention Day on November 18th by Shining a Green Light and promoting National Injury Prevention Day among their memberships, constituencies, and communities.
E. Lenita Johnson, Communications Director
Injury Free Coalition for Kids
Walt Rice, Technical Consultant