June 24th, 2024

Viva Vitality: Awareness and support on National Injury Prevention Day

By Medicine Hat News on July 6, 2018.

Yesterday, July 5, was the annual National Injury Prevention Day (NIPD). This is a day supported by Parachute, a national charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. An injury is described as physical damage to the body from sudden exposure to energy levels that exceed the normal human tolerance or as a result of the lack of one or more vital elements such as oxygen (Parachute, 2018). So what is NIPD all about? It is a day to bring awareness around the importance of injury prevention and helps encourage Canadians to live long lives to the fullest through education and advocacy. Let’s learn about injury and how we can support NIPD on July 5 and throughout the year!

As you may know, injury prevention is critical to saving lives as injury is the primary cause of death for Canadians aged one to 44 years. If that does not cause enough concern, it also places an enormous financial burden on our health-care system and economy. Injuries that are preventable and predictable cost the system approximately $27 billion per year. Some common examples of these preventable and predictable injuries are: motor vehicle collisions, falls, drowning, fire/burns, unintentional poisoning, struck by/against sports equipment, suicide/self-harm, violence, and other. The rates of these injuries are quite alarming, as on average 15,000 Canadians are fatally injured and more than 230,000 are hospitalized per year.

This works out to 427 people suffering a preventable injury every hour. The goal of National Injury Prevention Day is to bring awareness and knowledge to these preventable injuries and eliminate the word “accidents.” The facts are that risks are a part of our everyday lives, however we need to recognize that injuries are not acts of fate which means they do not have to happen — they are predictable and preventable!

There are many municipalities all across Canada who will be lighting up landmarks in green to pledge support for NIPD; watch for landmarks in your area that might be lit with green. The hope is to engage as many people as possible in the day. You can do your part by wearing green and sharing any photos on social media, using the hashtags #ParachuteNIPD and #TurnSafetyOn. Most importantly, talk with your children, friends, and family about the importance of injury prevention and how we can all work together towards a Canada free of serious injuries.

Chloe McNamee is a health promotion facilitator with Alberta Health Services and can be reached by email at chloe.mcnamee@ahs.ca

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