Injury and Violence Prevention
According to the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, nearly 30 million emergency room visits and more than 180,000 deaths are attributable to injury and violence each year. In fact, injury is the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 44 in the United States. Millions more Americans are injured and survive, only to cope with lifelong disabilities. In a single year, injury and violence ultimately cost the United States $406 billion, including over $80 billion in medical costs and $326 billion in lost productivity. Preventing injuries is extremely cost effective, and it is imperative that innovative and effective injury and violence prevention programs work to prevent premature deaths, particularly among vulnerable populations of children, young families, and older adults.
Local health departments (LHDs) play an important role in coordinating the broader public health system’s efforts to address the causes of injury and violence. LHDs are well suited to unite community partners to address the causes of injury- and violence-related inequities through policy, environment, and system change.
NACCHO’s Injury and Violence Prevention (IVP) Program strengthens the capacity of LHDs to effectively address the causes of injury and violence in their communities by creating learning opportunities, developing tools and resources, providing technical support, and facilitating peer exchange.
In the Spotlight
Children's exposure to violence and maltreatment is a significant problem, as it can cause serious physical, mental, and emotional health problems and can lead to injuries and death. The National Survey of Children Exposed to Violence (NatSCEV), an estimated 46 million of the 76 million children currently residing in the United States are exposed to violence, crime, and abuse each year. In 2013, there were an estimated 678,932 cases of child abuse or neglect in the United States.
Child maltreatment is linked to factors that increase the risk for long-term health problems. Children who are abused or exposed to other adversities are more likely to smoke, be physically inactive or obese,5 and engage in risky sexual behavior. Children who are maltreated are at increased risk to experience other serious issues such as academic problems, delinquency, and involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
Children's exposure to violence and maltreatment is a preventable problem. Healthy People 2020 aims to reduce children's exposure to violence from 60.6 percent in 2008 to 54.5 percent in 2020. Addressing and preventing children's exposure to violence and maltreatment requires specialized expertise and comprehensive interdisciplinary approaches.
Check out the tools and resources below for more information on preventing children's exposure to violence and maltreatment:
New Injury and Violence Prevention Podcasts
Professor Matt Sanders on Triple P Podcast (March, 2015)
Rachel Weintraub on ATV Safety Podcast (March, 2015)