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Injury Prevention

The Population & Public Health Program provides leadership for enabling coordinated injury prevention initiatives in British Columbia.
Our Activities

The Population & Public Health program (PPH) aims to reduce the burden of injury in British Columbia through partnerships and coordinated efforts for advocacy, policy and strategic planning, building capacity, and implementing and evaluating injury prevention interventions.

Injuries are predictable and preventable. Still, injuries are the fourth leading cause of death and contribute to 40% of all potential years of life lost.1 For individuals ages 10 to 44 years, injuries are the leading cause of death.2 Among those aged 1-44 years, injuries account for over 70% of preventable years of life lost.

The economic impact of injuries in British Columbia totalled $4.5 billion in 2019.3  Injuries also exact a burden both socially and economically on British Columbians in the form of distress, lost income, extended care needs, rehabilitation expenses, and gaps in the family unit.

Together with the BC Injury Prevention Committee and the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit (BCIRPU), the PPH team established three provincial priorities to guide injury prevention initiatives in BC. The three priorities are: 

  • Community-dwelling seniors falls and fall-related injury prevention;
  • Transport-related injury prevention; and
  • Youth suicide and self-harm prevention.
Work is ongoing to establish recommendations and a work plan for each of the three priorities.

Building capacity

PPH works with the Ministry of Health, regional health authorities, academic institutions, and non-government community organizations to integrate research, policy, and practice for injury prevention. 

Strategic planning & policy development

PPH is involved in coalitions to advance public policy on injury prevention in British Columbia.

BCCDC co-chairs the BC Injury Prevention Committee, which provides guidance and recommendations on injury prevention to the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.  Priority areas include Community-Dwelling Seniors Falls and Fall-Related Injury Prevention, Road Safety, and Youth Suicide and Self-Harm.  The committee:

  • Informs the development of provincial (Ministry of Health or cross-government) policies and guidelines
  • Makes recommendations for the implementation of programs for injury prevention
  • Makes recommendations for the use of specific indicators to monitor injury prevention programs and burden of injury
  • Makes recommendations for training of healthcare practitioners
  • Makes recommendations for research priorities.

BCCDC co-chairs this independent strategic alliance of organizations supporting injury prevention priorities and activities across British Columbia. The BCIPA aims to create coordinated, collaborative and integrated leadership and action on injury prevention across British Columbia that supports a decrease in preventable injuries.  Specifically the BCIPA: 

  • Advise and assist one another regarding research, strategies, policies, and programs that member organizations are undertaking
  • Identify and promote priorities where evidence supports that progress can be made in injury prevention
  • Coordinate and collaborate on activities addressing significant injury issues
  • Provide collaborative leadership thinking and action on injury prevention.

This CoP, co-chaired by members of the PPH team, fosters collaboration, reduces the duplication of efforts, and works toward the standardization of provincial fall prevention resources. Membership comprises fall prevention leads from all seven health authorities and the Ministry of Health.


Increasing public awareness 

Did you know that every 10 minutes a Canadian community-dwelling older adult (65+ years) is hospitalized because of a fall?  Did you know falls account for 40% of all nursing home admissions? On average in BC, 37 older adults are hospitalized every day due to fall-related injuries.

The first week of November is Seniors' Fall Prevention Awareness Week in British Columbia. Since 2015, Finding Balance BC holds a month-long provincial public awareness campaign.  The purpose of this campaign is to provide the tools community-dwelling older adults need to remain safe in their homes, through encouraging them to take action to reduce their risk of falling.  The multi-platform campaign uses the Internet, social media, and other tools to reach older adults, family caregivers, and healthcare professionals.
To promote this campaign, you can download posters and a falls risk assessment checklist from the Finding Balance BC website as well as access fall prevention information and resources, available all year.

The BCCDC supports the efforts of the BCIRPU in their promotion of injury prevention messaging aimed at the public through the web and social media:

Reports and Resources

Provincial Injury Prevention Priorities: Report

This report, released in November 2017, details the findings from a prioritization process to provide guidance and recommendations to the Provincial Prevention and Health Promotion Policy Advisory Committee and the Provincial Public Health Executive Committee.  This work was the result of a collaboration between the BC Injury Prevention Committee, all BC regional health authorities, Trauma Services BC, BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, BC Falls and Injury Prevention Coalition, and BC Ministry of Health.

Injury surveillance

The Injury Data Online Tool (iDOT©) is an easy-to-use, menu-driven system that makes injury data available to injury prevention practitioners and professionals, as well as the public. It is an effective and efficient way for users to access injury data including mortality, morbidity, road-related injuries, and sports. 

Data are available as tables and charts, or check out the data visualizations for a visual overview of the injury trends and patterns in BC.

BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit (BCIRPU)

The BCIRPU is a province-wide partnership between the BC Centre for Disease Control at PHSA, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and the Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia. The BCIRPU is a leader in the production and transfer of injury prevention knowledge and the integration of evidence-based injury prevention practices in the daily lives of those at risk, those who care for them, and those with a mandate for public health and safety in British Columbia.

  • Learn more about injury prevention activities in BC on the BCIRPU website.

Finding Balance BC

Finding Balance BC contains fall prevention information for older adults (65+ years) living in British Columbia and is the center of the annual Seniors’ Fall Prevention Awareness Week campaign, which takes place each November.

Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT)

CATT is a series of online educational modules and resources with the goal of promoting concussion recognition, diagnosis, treatment, and management. CATT is free-of-charge and has educational information modules for coaches, teachers, medical professionals, athletes, parents and caregivers, workers and workplaces, and those who work with survivors of intimate partner violence. Good concussion management is pivotal to minimizing the risk of brain damage and may reduce long-term health consequences.

Active & Safe Central

Active & Safe Central is a resource for children, youth, and adults who engage in or facilitate sport and recreational activities, providing information on common injuries, risk factors, and injury prevention for their activity of choice. This website is based on current and available research evidence from around the world.

Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC (PSBSBC)

Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC, a program of BC Children’s Hospital, manages the Period of PURPLE Crying® (PURPLE) a universal parent education program. It is delivered to approximately 45,000 new parents/caregivers annually by nurses at all maternity hospitals and public health units/community health centres in BC as well as community providers who support pre-natal and new families. Caregivers learn about early increased infant crying; improve their awareness crying as a trigger for, and the dangers of shaking infants; and as well as research-based soothing methods and coping strategies to ultimately reduce the incidence of shaken baby syndrome/traumatic head injury-child maltreatment. Program materials are in available in an English booklet/APP package (English, French or Spanish) or a booklet/DVD and package in 8 additional languages.

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