According to the CDC, injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans under age 45. Injuries fall into two categories: unintentional (accidents, falls) and intentional (violence).
Family physicians play an important role in educating patients and families about their potential risk for unintentional injuries based on their developmental stage, awareness, and risk factors whether it is encouraging seatbelt usage or counseling patients on fall prevention.
Violence occurs in the context of a broad range of human relationships and complex interactions. Exposure to violence and abuse has been associated with death and severe physical and mental health outcomes. Patients with mental and behavior health challenges also are at risk for self-harm.
Academy advocacy for policies to reduce injury prevent violence has included:
The AAFP recognizes violence as a major public health concern — one that family physicians can address in substantial ways, through patient interaction and by influencing policies and bringing together community resources.