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Semin Pediatr Surg. 2004 May;13(2):133-40.

Preventing injury and injury-related disability in children and adolescents.

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Departments of Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management, and the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Injury is the leading cause of death and a prevalent source of disability and excess health expenditures in children and adolescents. There are predictable patterns to injury that provide clues to prevention. Epidemiologically-based theoretical frameworks are available to guide development of injury prevention strategies, to add structure to our observations, and focus to our prevention activities. While all-cause injury mortality rates have decreased in children and adolescents over the last 20 years, large ethnic disparities persist, indicating the need for intensified efforts in high-risk communities. Strong leadership from pediatric surgeons and pediatricians operating hospital-based community injury prevention programs has produced successful reductions in child and adolescent injury rates in resource-limited and minority neighborhoods. Among the program features considered essential are: (1) an ongoing injury surveillance system; (2) well-focused, multifaceted prevention activities, including both passive and active prevention approaches; (3) education; (4) enlistment of other health professionals, local government officials, community leaders, and the public; and (5) evaluation and refinement of prevention activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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