It is probably safe to say that every one of us has had some type of minor “accident” or injury in our lives! Remember the time we tripped and fell, cut our finger, or fell off our bike? We all do too much multi-tasking which makes it much more likely that an “accident” will happen. It only takes a few seconds to happen. But it also takes just a moment to protect against injuries and make communities safer.
National Public Health Week is observed April 4-10, and the theme is “Safety is NO Accident: Live Injury Free”. The potential for injury is all around us. Each year, nearly 150,000 people die from injuries and almost 30 million people are injured seriously enough to go to the emergency room. There are things we can do to prevent becoming one of those statistics.
All of us would benefit from taking a few minutes to assess our homes, workspace, playground, behavior, and community for potential hazards that could cause an injury. Taking simple steps to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities is worth every minute of effort and it does work. For example, bike helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 85%; properly used car seats reduces risk of death for infants by 71%: and having a working smoke alarm cuts the risk of death from a house fire by 50%.
Let’s use National Public Health Week to raise our awareness of injury prevention and make changes where necessary. Not only will we and our families be safer and healthier, so will our communities.
More information about injury prevention can be found at the National Public Health Week site at http://www.nphw.org/nphw11/first1.htm.