OVERVIEW

A multitude of unintentional injuries as well as those caused by intentional acts of violence, including motor vehicle crashes, homicide, domestic and school violence, child abuse and neglect, suicide, and unintentional drug overdoses, are critical public health concerns in the United States. In addition to their immediate health impact, the effects of injuries and violence extend well beyond the injured person or victim of violence, affecting family members, friends, coworkers, employers, and communities.

  • Injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 0 to 19.

  • Each year, approximately 2.8 million children go to the hospital emergency department for injuries caused by falling.

  • Suffocation is the leading cause of injury death for infants age 1 and younger, and drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children age 1 to 4.

  • A history of exposure to adverse experiences in childhood, including exposure to violence and maltreatment, is associated with health risk behaviors such as smoking, alcohol and drug use, and risky sexual behavior, as well as obesity, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, attempted suicide, and other health problems.

CHILDREN

ADOLESCENTS and YOUNG ADULTS

  • Approximately 72% of all deaths among adolescents age 10 to 24 are attributed to injuries from 4 causes: motor vehicle crashes (30%), all other unintentional injuries (15%), homicide (15%), and suicide (12%).

  • More than 1 million serious sports-related injuries occur each year among adolescents age 10 to 17.

ADULTS

  • More than 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.4

  • Each year, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes. Men are the victims of about 2.9 million intimate partner-related physical assaults.5

  • Every day on average, 12 working men and women are killed on the job.6 In 2009, more than 4.1 million workers across all industries had work-related injuries and illnesses that were reported by employers.

OLDER ADULTS

  • Each year, about one-third of men and women age 65 and older experience a fall, and 20% to 30% of them suffer a moderate to severe injury, such as a hip fracture or head injury.

  • Injuries can make it more difficult for older adults to live independently, and injuries increase older adults' risk of premature death.

Injury and Violence