The injury prevention program works to improve public health by taking actions to prevent injuries before they happen. The program works with partners in the community to incorporate injury prevention efforts into their ongoing programs.
Accidental injuries are the leading cause of death among Travis County residents ages 1-44; motor vehicle crashes are the majority of these deaths. A report on this can be found in Ten Leading Causes of Death in Travis County.
The Vision Zero Project aims to reduce traffic crash deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2025. Austin Public Health assists with data gathering and analysis. They also provide educational and promotional activities to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America's roadways. In 2012 alone, 3,328 were killed in distracted driving crashes in the US. Austin has a hands-free ordinance that prohibits the use of all electronic hand-held devices while operating a vehicle or bicycle. For more information on how to prevent distracted driving, click here. For more information, click here.
Seven teens ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries. Teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. Fortunately, teen crashes are preventable and parents play a significant role in reducing risk among young drivers. For more information, click here.
Every day in the U.S., about 10 people die from accidental drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury deaths in the United States. In Travis County, our community partner, Colin's Hope, works toward preventing drownings. For more information about drowning and prevention measures, click here. Life jacket loaner stations have life jackets for children and adults to use free of charge on the honor system that they will be returned when the user leaves the park. For locations of life jacket loaner stations, click here.
Safe Sleep for Infants
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), including suffocation, is the leading cause of death among infants between one month and one year of age. In Travis County, between 2011 and 2015, there were 43 deaths of infants who suffocated in their sleep. Contact Stephanie Helfman for a presentation to your group of healthcare providers on best practices in safe sleep for infants.
In 2012, the most recent year for which full data are available, 40,600 suicides were reported in the U.S., making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. The Injury Prevention Program works with the Central Texas Suicide Prevention Coalition to identify trends and research and implement best practice methodology in suicide prevention. For more information on suicide prevention, visit Texas Suicide Prevention.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death to Travis County residents ages 65 and older. Staff partner with other agencies to deliver a comprehensive training called Stepping On for seniors that has proven to reduce the risk of falls among participants. For more information, contact Denise Geleitsmann.
On average, almost 400 Texas babies die in their sleep each year - suddenly, unexpectedly, and without a clear explanation or due to accidental suffocation or strangulation. That's why it is so important to always give babies "Room to Breathe."