ARCHIVED: Adolescent Health Initiative - Unintentional Injury
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Injuries include unintentional injuries (such as those caused by motor vehicle crashes and fires) and intentional injuries (violence and suicide).

  • An injury is defined as "unintentional or intentional damage to the body resulting from acute exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy or from the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen."1

  • Injuries are not accidents. They can be prevented by changing the environment, individual behavior, products, social norms, legislation, and governmental and institutional policy.1

  • Injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for people aged 1 to 34 years in the United States.2

  • Injuries requiring medical attention, or resulting in restricted activity, affect more than 20 million children and adolescents (250 per 1,000 persons) and cost $17 billion annually for medical treatment.3

  • Violence is the "threatened or actual use of physical force or power against another person, against oneself, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, or deprivation."4

This information is from the CDC Healthy Youth! Injury and Violence Website.5


1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000.

2. Minino AM, Anderson RN, Fingerhut LA, Boudreault MA, Warner M. Deaths: Injuries, 2002. National Vital Statistics Reports; 54(10): 1-125.

3. Danseco ER, Miller TR, Spicer RS. Incidence and costs of 1987–1994 childhood injuries: demographic break downs. Pediatrics 2000;105(2).

4. Foege WH, Rosenberg ML, Mercy JA. Public health and violence prevention. Current Issues in Public Health 1995;1:2–9.

5. Healthy Youth: Injury and Violence [Internet]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; [updated May 10, 2010]. Available: Accessed: May 24, 2011.

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