Primary Care Opportunities to Prevent Unintentional Home Injuries: A Focus on Children and Older Adults

Eileen M McDonald, Karin Mack, Wendy C Shields, Robin P. Lee, Andrea Gielen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Unintentional injuries are a persistent public health problem in the United States. A new health care landscape has the potential to create a clinical environment that fosters greater involvement by health care providers in injury prevention. The aim of this article is to provide evidence supporting the need for engagement by primary care providers in unintentional home injury prevention along with examples of how this could be accomplished. We know a great deal about what population groups are at risk for certain types of injuries. We also know that many injuries can be prevented through policies, programs, and resources that ensure safe environments and promote safe behaviors. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) initiative comprises clinical decision support tools and educational materials for health care providers. Two effective interventions that have demonstrated a reduction in falls among children are the redesign of baby walkers (engineering) and the mandated use of window guards (enforcement). Primary care clinicians can play a key role in promoting their patient’s safety. Taken collectively, a focused attention on preventing unintentional home injuries by primary care providers can contribute to the reduction of injuries and result in optimal health for all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-106
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

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Keywords

  • accidents
  • falls
  • fires
  • injury prevention
  • poisoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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