Is injury prevention education beneficial?

March 6, 2013

Topic: injury prevention

Is injury prevention education beneficial?

Injury prevention needs to start a young age, whether it be for kids registered in recreational sports or just basic fire safety. One team of British researchers are trying to determine whether educational programs on these subjects and others like them are beneficial.

The truth of the matter is that violence and injuries are the leading causes of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also cost the country more than $406 billion every year in medical care and lost productivity.

Scientists from the University of Nottingham are scheming a large-scale review of past studies - both published and unpublished - on the effectiveness of health and safety lessons that take place in a classroom setting. It will be the first study of its kind. They hope to find out whether this kind of education works and, if so, why it does.

"Children spend so much of their time in school that it seems an obvious place to deliver injury prevention programs because, in essence, schools have a captive audience," said Elizabeth Orton, Ph.D., a lecturer at the university. "We know that these programs are also extremely popular with teachers, pupils and parents."

Injury prevention techniques, such as wearing protective gear while playing sports, can prevent injuries and even save lives. School-based programs that aim to prevent violence can cut down violent behavior by 29 percent among high school students and 15 percent across all grade levels, according to the CDC.

In addition, injury prevention does not end when school does. The agency states that tai chi and other exercise programs for seniors can help decrease the number of accidental falls among participants by up to 50 percent. 

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