According to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics, in 2002,
unintentional injuries resulted in 161,269 deaths, and approximately 117,100,000 hospital/emergency
department/other out patient visits. Motor vehicle crashes, firearm assaults, poisonings, suffocation,
falls and all other ways in which injuries occur are not "accidents" - random and uncontrollable.
Injuries are predictable, understandable, and preventable.
The mission of any injury prevention program is to increase local team building, to prevent and
predict injuries, to decrease severe injury and death, and to raise the health status of the AI/AN
population. As public health professionals and child caregivers, we must advocate for a sound public
health approach to the prevention of injuries in Native communities. We must identify our local
problems and their contributing factors, and we must facilitate change in our Tribal communities to
reduce injuries and deaths caused by injuries.
|"If a disease were killing our children in the proportions that injuries are, people would be
outraged and demand that this killer be stopped." C. Everett Koop
To prevent injuries it is necessary to have information about the factors that contribute to their occurrence.
Also, one must have access to information to assist in the development of injury prevention programs.