Injury and Violence Prevention Program

Why is injury a public health problem?

Young girl sitting in a car booster seat.

In Vermont, injuries are the leading cause of death among persons aged 15 to 44, and the fifth leading cause of death among persons of all ages.

Each year, nearly 300 Vermonters die and thousands of others are hospitalized due to injury. Most of these deaths are preventable, often through the application of known interventions such as seat belts, smoke detectors and bike helmets.

Types of Injury

Unintentional injuries - such as motor vehicle crashes, fires and burns, drowning, falls, occupational injuries, poisoning, choking, bicycle-related.

Intentional injuries - such as homicide, suicide, rape, domestic violence, child abuse.

Injury Prevention

There are three general strategies to prevent injuries

  1. Educate people about potential risks of injury.
  2. Advocate for individual behavior change or system change by law or administrative rule.
  3. Provide protective factors by product or environmental design.

For example, child safety seat usage shows how the three strategies can be implemented to prevent injuries in children due to motor vehicle crashes.

  1. Education is necessary to persuade parents to secure their children in car seats every time they ride in a motor vehicle.
  2. Vermont law requires that all children ages birth to 16 be restrained in a federally approved child restraining seat. children ages 8 - 16 years need to be restrained in a safety seat or seatbelt.
  3. Child safety seats, when used correctly, have been shown to be effective in prevention or reducing injuries from a crash.

Contact the Injury and Violence Prevention Program

Injury and Violence Prevention Program
Vermont Department of Health
108 Cherry Street, PO Box 70
Burlington, VT 05402
Tel. 802-652-4179
Fax 802-863-7229

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