Unintentional injury is a leading threat to the health of Canadian children. It kills more children ages 1 to 14 years than any other cause and can lead to permanent, life-altering disability.
In Hastings & Prince Edward Counties, the leading causes of unintentional injury visits to the emergency department among children ages 1 to 14 years are falls, falling or striking against objects and sports. Similarly, the leading causes of injury hospitalizations are falls, poisoning and falling or striking against objects.
Most injuries are predictable and preventable if we:
- Consider injury risks as our children grow and gain new skills;
- Create safe places for our children to live, learn and play;
- Actively watch and listen to our children;
- Follow family safety rules, and;
- Act as a role model - our children will do what we do.
Fewer injuries. Healthier children.
Car Seat Safety
- Transport Canada - Keep Kids Safe
- Ministry of Transportation Ontario - Choose the Right Child Car Seat
- Public Health Agency of Canada - Safe Sleep for Babies
- Best Start Resource Centre - Sleep Well, Sleep Safe
Wear the Gear
Many Canadian children are injured during sport and recreation activities. Without protective equipment, a fall of as little as two feet can result in scrapes, broken bones, facial injuries, and head injuries. A head injury can affect a child’s ability to move, play, think, learn, behave, see, or speak.
Wearing a properly fitted helmet could prevent up to 80% of head injuries by absorbing and spreading the force of impact over the entire helmet.
In Ontario, children and youth under 18 years of age are required to wear a certified bicycle helmet. The fine for not wearing a helmet is $75.
Helmet safety tips for you and your family:
- Choose the right helmet for the right activity. Ensure that it has a certification label (CSA, Snell, ASTM, CSPC, etc.).
- When fitting a helmet for most sports, follow the 2V1 rule.
- Replace the helmet if there are any cracks or dents to the outer shell or damage to the foam liner.
- Replace the helmet after three to five years.
- Clean the helmet with mild soap and water and leave to air dry. Do not use a disinfectant.
Anyone can fall. As we age, the risk of injury from a fall increases. The good news is that most falls are predictable and preventable. Maintain your independence by preventing it from happening to you. To reduce your risk of falling:
Regular physical activity is vital to preventing falls and aging well. Include activities which promote muscle strength, balance, endurance and flexibility every week in order to keep active.
For more information about all exercise and fall prevention classes, visit the South East Health Line Exercise and Falls Prevention Resources webpage.
Check Your Medications!
Medications can affect your body differently as you age, and some medications can increase your risk of a fall. Review your medications (prescription and non-prescription) once a year with your doctor or pharmacist. If you are frequently lightheaded or dizzy, speak to your health care professional as soon as possible, so the cause can be found and treated.
Watch Your Step!
In Canada, half of all falls that lead to a hospital admission in older adults occur at home. You can prevent a fall by removing fall hazards, inside and outside your home. Having your vision checked annually and maintaining proper foot care and footwear are also important ways to reduce your risk.
Eat a Healthy Diet!
Good nutrition helps to prevent falls by keeping your body and mind strong, especially your muscles and bones.
All adults over the age of 50 years should take a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU.
Learn more about healthy eating to prevent falls:
- Nutri-eSCREEN quiz for older adults
- EatRight Ontario – Talk directly to a Registered Dietitian at 1-877-510-5102
- Tips on Healthy Eating as you get Older
- How to Stay Hydrated.
- Canada’s Food Guide
- Fall Prevention Month
- Food Access Guide for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties
- McMaster Optimal Aging Portal
- The Victoria Order of Nurses (VON) offer FREE exercise classes and fall prevention classes for older adults. For phone inquiries and to register for a class, call the VON at 1-800-301-0076 x 2499.
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is involved, along with community partners, in a number of road safety initiatives aimed at helping to reduce injuries and deaths in our community due to motor vehicle collisions. We are partners in the Quinte Region Traffic Coalition (QRTC), which implements a number of on-road and off-road injury prevention programs.
Data available from:
- Ontario Mortality Database 2000 to 2011, Ontario MOHLTC, IntelliHEALTH ONTARIO
- National Ambulatory Care Reporting System 2011 to 2015, Ontario MOHLTC, IntelliHEALTH ONTARIO
- National Ambulatory Care Reporting System 2003 to 2015, Ontario MOHLTC, IntelliHEALTH ONTARIO