National Injury Prevention Day 2022
5 July 2022
Today (July 5, 2022) is National Injury Prevention Day (NIPD), a day to raise awareness about the harmful effects of predictable and preventable injuries across Canada. Led by Parachute Canada, a charity that works to “create a safer Canada by preventing serious and fatal injuries through evidence-based solutions that advocate and educate”, NIPD aims to highlight the importance of injury prevention and support all Canadians to “live long lives to the fullest through education and advocacy.”
Injuries can be intentional or unintentional and include falls, motor vehicle collisions, violence, suicide and self-harm, drowning, sport-related injury, etc. Both intentional and unintentional injuries can vary in degree of severity, but often lead to visits to the emergency department, hospitalization, disability, and sometimes death.
The Cost of Injury
According to a recent report released by Parachute Canada using data from 2018, the total economic cost of injuries in Canada reaches over $29 billion annually with the direct cost to the Canadian healthcare system totaling $20.4 billion. But injuries cost Canadians far more than just dollars. Unintentional injuries remain the leading cause of death for Canadians ages 1 to 34, with almost 333,800 potential years of life lost (an estimate of the average years a person would have lived had they not died prematurely). In Ontario in 2020, there were over 1.25 million injuries that led to visits to the emergency department, and almost 81,600 that lead to hospitalizations.
The human costs of injury are devastating, are both physical and emotional, and can greatly impact not only the individual, but also their family, community, and society as a whole.
Injuries are predictable and preventable events. The Ministry of Health (MoH) recommends that boards of health across the province develop and implement public health intervention programs to support injury prevention based on assessments of local needs. As the needs of each community differ, it is important that local public health experts implement a flexible approach to injury prevention within their community to decrease health inequities and address the needs of priority populations.
Evidence informed prevention programs can reduce the burden of injury to the local health system, can help prevent people in Ontario from being seriously injured, and keep them out of hospital.