Motor vehicle crashes, falls, suicides, drowning, prescription drug overdose, and youth violence. These are a few examples from a growing area in public health, which can be summarized in one word — injuries

The definition of injury is physical damage to the body resulting from acute exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy or from the absence of such essentials such as heat or oxygen.

National Committee for Injury Prevention and Control, 1989

Due to extensive research within the field of injury prevention and control, it has been proven that injuries are similar to diseases.

Injury is probably the most under recognized major public health problem facing the nation today.

National Academy of Sciences, 1988

Injury Prevention and Public Health

Injury prevention has not traditionally been perceived as a major public health issue. Rather, injuries have been viewed as unavoidable “accidents” that are part of everyday life (Sleet et al, 2004).

Scientific advances and medical technology have significantly improved America’s health status in the past 40 years. But injury continues to threaten the health of Americans. This threat comes in the form of death, disability, and financial burden.

Similar strategies could be used for product updates — child safety seats. Laws require parents to use child safety and booster seats.

Health education helps parents know the seat they need, how to correctly install child safety seats, and the dangers of placing children in the front seat of a car.

SOPHE/CDC Injury Prevention Fellowship

For some 20 years, SOPHE and the CDC have collaborated in sponsoring a fellowship for graduate students to address intervention in behavioral science/health education to injury prevention and health promotion.

Many of these fellowship recipients have gone on to make career contributions to this field.

Learn more about the SOPHE/CDC Fellowship in Injury Prevention.