Preventing Unintentional Injuries and Death in Children and Teens
About 400 children and teens in Canada die every year from unintentional injuries, making this the number one cause of death for Canadian youth. Improved injury prevention is recognized as a priority in Canada and around the world.
Dr. Barbara Morrongiello, Canada Research Chair in Child and Youth Injury Prevention, is identifying key factors that influence injury risk and developing strategies to reduce those risks, including developing policies and programs that can be distributed widely to reduce the burden of injury in Canada and abroad.
Morrongiello has produced major innovations in measurement that make it possible to conduct scientifically rigorous research to better understand children’s risk of injury and to develop new approaches to prevention. These innovations include measurement of caregiver supervision and of the risks children take on playgrounds and when crossing streets.
Because injury risk factors vary among children, Morrongiello takes into account their age, social and physical context, and individual traits. She considers both social and psychological factors that influence safety and risk behaviours and emphasizes how these factors interact to influence injury risk. Morrongiello is also collaborating with public health departments, Safe Kids Canada and other national organizations that are committed to injury prevention. These collaborations help translate her findings into effective policies and community programming for injury prevention.
Morrongiello’s research could help save lives by reducing injury-risk behaviours in children and teens.