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Columbus, Ohio
USA

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Why injury? It's this simple: more children die from injuries every year than from the next three leading causes of death combined. Nobody knows this because no one is talking about it. In the U.S., one child dies every hour from an injury that could have been prevented. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds as the result of an injury. You don’t need to have a child to know that we can do better.

 

Safety Is a Fiscal Health Issue, Too

End Injury

I was browsing the Huffington Post yesterday, and this article caught my eye. The director of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control wrote an op-ed on new research that calculated the financial cost of injury and violence in this county--$671 billion! That number seems pretty high, but is it? Fortunately, Dr. Houry tells us just how much that is:

To put this number in perspective, the U.S. spends about $585 billion each year on national defense and just under $600 billion each year on all elementary and secondary education in our country.

Here at End Injury, we often focus on the emotional toll injuries take on families, but as Dr. Houry points out, there is tremendous cost beyond the emotional (and physical). Parents end up taking time off from jobs or quitting them altogether to care for an injured child or loved one. The injured person might need extra services at home, at school, and in the community, all of which require money. And neither of these expenses account for the actual cost of responding to, treating, and recovering from injuries. When the numbers are added up, it’s clear that we’re all paying the price of injury and violence. 

Injuries and violence tax an economy that can hardly afford it. And, it’s a cost that is largely preventable.

She’s right. We know how to fix this problem. As she says, it’s putting on seat belts every time, it’s wearing the right helmets when playing sports, and it’s making policy and environmental changes to protect people where they live, work, and play. But we have to move the issue beyond child advocates and the medical community. We have to get people involved who aren’t reached by traditional safety outreach. This data proves that safety isn’t just for people who care about physical health—it’s for people who care about fiscal health, too.

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