Ohio and Montana scored the lowest among all 50 states in a new State-by State Injury Prevention Report released, May 21, by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).
Injuries—including those caused by accidents and violence—are the third leading cause of death nationally, and they are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44.
According to The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report, Ohio received only a “2” on a scale of one to ten, while 24 states scored a five or lower. The report identifies ten key indicators of steps states can take to prevent injuries. (Ohio only receives points for requiring booster seats and having a drug monitoring program.)
The Facts Hurt report concludes that millions of injuries could be prevented each year if more states adopted additional research-based injury prevention policies, and if programs were fully implemented and enforced. Approximately 50 million Americans are medically treated for injuries each year, and more than 2.8 million are hospitalized. Nearly 12,000 children and teens die from injuries resulting from accidents each year and around 9.2 million are treated in emergency rooms. Every year, injuries generate $406 billion in lifetime costs for medical care and lost productivity.
The report also identified a set of emerging new injury threats, including a dramatic, fast rise in prescription drug abuse, concussions in school sports, bullying, crashes from texting while driving and an expected increase in the number in falls as the Baby Boomer generation ages.
The report also finds that funding for injury prevention for states from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) averages only $0.28 per American—and has dropped 24 percent from fiscal years 2006 to 2011—and only 31 states have full-time injury and violence prevention directors, which limits injury prevention efforts.