July 20th, 2024

Viva Vitality: National Injury Prevention Day – Protecting lives together

By Lisa Doyle on July 5, 2024.

What comes to mind when you think of the word ‘injury’? A slip-on ice, a motor vehicle collision, or a playground incident? Injuries can happen anywhere at any time. However, the reality is that most injuries are predictable and preventable, and there are steps individuals can take to reduce their risk.

Whether at work, home, or play, we all have a part to play in reducing injuries.

So, what is the big deal about injury, and why should we care? Parachute, Canada’s National Injury Prevention Charity, reports injuries remain the leading cause of death for Canadians aged 1-44, costing the economy a staggering $29.4 billion annually. In Alberta, over 2,000 individuals die annually due to injury, with nearly 35,000 admitted to hospitals and more than 500,000 visiting an emergency department.

The Community Against Preventable Injuries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and promoting behaviour change in British Columbia, is currently sharing an impactful campaign centered on yellow lines. These lines are all around us, guiding us on where to stand, how to drive, and when to stay alert. They symbolize crucial moments – when we decide to take a risk or alter our behavior. In places where these lines are absent, we must ensure our safety and prevent injuries.

One of their current videos emphasizes that, “yellow lines exist in many places – but not on the water. Remember to wear a PFD and keep drownings preventable.” This campaign may appear simple, but it effectively highlights our role in injury prevention. Whether it’s wearing protective gear, undergoing training, driving safely, buckling up, or pausing to consider the risks we take, we can all take straightforward steps to reduce our injury risk and support a long, healthy life.

July 5 marks National Injury Prevention Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the devastating effects of predictable and preventable injuries. Parachute leads this campaign to “educate others and help all Canadians live long lives to the fullest.”

Many municipalities across Canada will light up landmarks green to help raise awareness regarding preventable injuries. Some landmarks to watch for in southern Alberta include Lethbridge city hall, Medicine Hat Public Library, and the Medicine Hat Towne Square.

In addition to lighting up Canada, we challenge everyone to wear green to show support. By doing so, you help raise awareness about the importance of preventing serious injuries on the road, at home or at play. Injuries affect everyone, and we all have a role to play in prevention. Share your green picture on social media with #ParachuteNIPD or #TurnSafetyOn. Join us in raising awareness of the devastating impact of predictable and preventable injuries; together, we can make a difference.

Lisa Doyle is a Health Promotion Facilitator with Alberta Health Services. For more information on National Injury Prevention Day, visit: parachute.ca/en/program/national-injury-prevention-day/

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