National Injury Prevention Day on July 5 raises awareness of injury prevention as critical to saving lives

The Injury Prevention Centre - 05 July 2021

Edmonton AB, July 5, 2021—Preventable injuries cost the Alberta economy $7.1 billion and 2,230 lives, according to the newly released Cost of Injuries in Alberta, 2017 report from the Injury Prevention Centre at the School of Public Health. The per capita cost of preventable injury in Alberta is $1,668.00 and is the leading cause of death for Albertans aged one to 44. Sadly, injury claims the lives of more children in the province than all other causes.

“Most injuries are both predictable and preventable, which makes them that much more tragic. We know when they happen and under what conditions. We know who is at risk and who is not, and we increasingly know what works and what does not with respect to prevention,” said Kathy Belton, associate director of the Injury Prevention Centre in the School of Public Health.

Alberta data provide a snapshot of a larger, national public health issue. Canada-wide, preventable injuries cost the Canadian economy $29.4 billion in a single year, including $20.4 billion in direct health-care costs, 4.6 million trips to emergency departments, 231,530 hospitalizations, and 17,475 deaths according to data from Potential Lost, Potential for Change: The Cost of Injury 2021 released by Parachute, Canada’s national charity dedicated to injury prevention.

“Effective action to prevent injury to alleviate the human and economic cost can only be achieved through investment in research that grows our knowledge base and allows us to educate Albertans about what works to keep them safe. It is time to take comprehensive, effective action that will prevent injuries and save lives,” said Belton.

 “While the economic cost of injuries in Alberta is staggering—the most devastating cost is the impact that injuries have on children, families and communities” says Dr. Kathryn Koliaska, Medical Officer of Health for Alberta Health Services (AHS). “Together with our partners, AHS engages with families, schools, and health professionals to build awareness and provide education to prevent injuries where and when they happen. Our focus is to prevent or mitigate factors in the environment and our communities that increase risk, while at the same time building factors that protect against injury.”

The Injury Prevention Centre (IPC) is a provincial organization that focuses on reducing catastrophic injury and deaths in Alberta.  We are a catalyst for action by providing communities and decision-makers with knowledge and tools.  We increase awareness about injury prevention as an important component of life-long health and wellness.

AHS Provincial Injury Prevention team provides leadership across AHS to identify, establish, and advance injury prevention priorities, practices, and strategies across Alberta. Team members work together with AHS zone staff, and in collaboration with key external partners, to ensure excellence in injury prevention programming across the province. Our priorities include unintentional injury prevention including addressing unintentional poisoning, falls and transportation-related injury, suicide prevention and the primary prevention of domestic violence.