Prevention 1’st mission is to prevent unintentional injury for populations at particularly high risk: children, older adults and people with disabilities. WHY?
- Unintentional injuries are the number 1 killer of children in the U.S.
- For children ages 3 – 5, unintentional injuries are responsible for more deaths than the next FIVE causes COMBINED.
- One child dies from an injury every hour!
- Preventable injuries remain a big problem for older adults…they kill 141 people over age 65 EVERY DAY!
- Older adults are over 2 times more likely to die in a home fire than the rest of the U.S.
- One in three older adults falls each year! Falls are the #1 cause of fatal injuries for adults age 65+.
- People with intellectual disabilities are at significantly higher risk! They are…
- Four times more likely to die in a fire
- Six times more likely to die from a fall
- Six times more likely to down
Unlike other leading causes of death, reduced quality of life, and health care costs–such as smoking, obesity and diabetes–preventable injuries have not received much attention. Yet it’s much easier to buckle a seat belt, check a smoke alarm, or put away clutter that can cause a fall than it is to make major lifestyle changes.
Also unlike other leading causes of death such as tobacco use and poor diet, deaths due to injuries affect the young and old alike. Because of this, life-years lost due to injuries are likely to exceed those from other preventable causes.
Injuries are a serious but hidden contributor to health care costs. They account for more than a third of all emergency department visits, and cost the nation $80 billion every year in medical costs alone. The estimated lifetime cost of injuries occurring in a single year in the U.S is more than $406 billion.