Injury Prevention and Violence

Overview of Injury Prevention and Violence

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, injuries are the leading cause of death for individuals in the United States under 45 years of age. 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.

The AAFP recognizes violence as a major public health concern. 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.

The AAFP has advocated for the following policies to reduce injury and violence prevention:

  • Provided expert commentary on the Violence Against Women Act;
  • Supported policies to encourage teen driving safety;
  • Shared support for trauma-informed programs to support maltreatment victims; and
  • Advocated for gun violence research and policies to reduce injuries, suicides, and violence.

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