Public Health and Injuries

Injuries and accidents are serious issues that have a major impact on public health. In the United States alone, accidental injury deaths are the leading cause of death for children, adolescents, and adults under 45 years. Over five million people visit emergency rooms each year due to an accident or injury. The costs of these injuries are not only financial, but also personal. A recent study revealed that the costs of health care for injuries and accidents totaled $671 billion over a lifetime.


These events can be preventable. The cause of injuries can be identified, and the cause can be prevented. Research shows that accidents can be avoided. But it is inappropriate to use the word “accident” to describe preventable events. In order to create a culture of injury awareness and prevention, a review of the word “accident” is necessary. The term “accident” is also misplaced in some contexts.


Injuries occur for a variety of reasons. Some people are injured due to traffic collisions. Others sustain injuries from drowning, poisoning, or falls. In addition, acts of violence and self-inflicted violence are common ways to cause injuries. These incidents and injuries affect millions of people. Many countries recognize these issues as a public health issue, but are only now beginning to address the consequences of injuries. Sadly, these tragedies are too common.