MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Critical Care and Trauma Institute and the WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program are joining forces to provide valuable safety information to communities as part of National Injury Prevention Day (Nov. 18).
According to providers at the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center (JMMTC) at WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, unintentional injuries and violence are the leading causes of death and hospitalization for people between ages one and 44. Each year, they lead to more than 278,000 deaths and 2.8 million hospitalizations.
Unintentional injuries are also the number one cause of death and disability among children. Each year, one-in-four children will have an injury that requires medical care. These types of injuries are often predictable and preventable.
National Injury Prevention Day is Saturday, but the teams from WVU Medicine are using an entire week to educate the public and System employees.
WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program staff said the System sees a variety of unintentional injuries in children throughout the year. The most common are related to falls, vehicle accidents, and ATVs and dirt bikes.
Parents and caregivers are urged to always follow proper car seat safety guidelines, including keeping children in a rear-facing position as long as possible and choosing the correct car or booster seat based on height and weight.
Fall prevention and motor vehicle safety are also important for adults. The JMMTC reports that motor vehicle collisions remain one of the leading causes of death from injuries in West Virginia. Some of these are preventable by not driving distracted or impaired.
The providers at the WVU Critical Care and Trauma Institute also encourage proper safety when it comes to firearms, especially since it is hunting season. One way to address firearm safety is to be SMART:
- Secure all firearms in your home and vehicles.
- Model responsible behavior around firearms.
- Ask about the presence of unsecured firearms in other homes.
- Recognize the role of firearms in suicide.
- Tell your peers to be S-M-A-R-T.
More information about injury prevention for children can be found at https://childrens.wvumedicine.org/patients-visitors/programs/injury-prevention-safety-program.
To have a car seat checked or get answers to any safety-related questions, contact the WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program at 304-554-8519 or WVUMChildrensInjuryPrevention@WVUMedicine.org.
For more safety tips for adults or to learn all the ways that the WVU Critical Care and Trauma Institute supports the community, visit WVUMedicine.org/CriticalCare or e-mail WVUHTraumaInjuryPrevention@WVUMedicine.org.