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It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Injury Prevention

Violence and Injury Prevention Program

  •  850-245-4455

    Mailing Address

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A13 

    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1722 


What is Injury?

Injury is defined as “physical harm or damage to someone’s body.”  Whether intentional or unintentional, injuries can be predicted and prevented.

Unintentional injuries include those that result from motor vehicle collisions (including those that involve pedestrians and bicyclists), drownings, falls, firearms, and recreational and sports-related activities.

Intentional injuries result from interpersonal or self-inflicted violence, and include homicide, assaults, suicide and suicide attempts, child abuse and neglect (including child sexual abuse), intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and sexual assault.

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Florida's Need for Injury Prevention

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among Florida residents ages 1–44 and the fifth leading cause of death overall, after cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke (Florida Vital Statistics Annual Report 2013). In 2013, injuries claimed 12,727 lives and accounted for 7.1 percent of all resident deaths.

In 2013 (most current national injury data), Florida’s age-adjusted injury death rate for all unintentional injuries was 8.18 percent higher than the national average. Florida's rates were 4.7 percent higher than the national average for unintentional motor vehicle injuries, 13.41 percent higher for suicides, and a staggering 200.4 percent higher for unintentional drownings among children ages 1–4. In addition, Florida’s age-adjusted death rates in each of the above categories, except motor vehicle injuries and poisonings, were the highest among the nation's five most populous states: California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois. (See table below.)

All Unintentional Injuries 41.3 44.68 30.10 35.52 30.16 35.02 + 8.18%
     -  Motor Vehicle Injuries 11.9 12.46 8.8 13.66 6.7 8.68 + 4.7%
     -  Poisonings 12.29 10.91 10.47 8.41 10.53 11.10 - 11.23%
     -  Drownings (Ages 1–4) 2.47 7.42 2.59 3.53  -*  -* + 200.4%
Suicides 13.2 14.97 10.5 11.6 8.58 10.52 + 13.41%

(Source: CDC WISQARS; Age-adjusted Rates per 100,000 Population)

*   Potentially unstable rate based on a total of fewer than 20 events.

"Health care in the United States is a 2.9 trillion dollar industry, accounting for nearly 18 percent of the gross domestic product, up from 14 percent in 2000.  Health care inflation outpaces inflation in other markets. Federal, state, and local governments share the financial burden of health care with employers and individuals.  For example, state and federal governments spent $413.9 billion on Medicaid alone in 2011." (National Conference of State Legislatures,

Clearly, there is a need for statewide injury prevention activities in Florida.

For additional injury prevention data, please see the Florida Injury Surveillance Data System page.

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Florida's Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP)

The VIPP addresses statewide injury prevention priorities by providing technical assistance, information and resources to community partners.

Early Childhood Drowning Prevention—Florida leads the country in drowning deaths of children ages 1-4 years. The “WaterSmartFL: Pool Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility” initiative educates parents, caregivers, and communities about drowning risks and prevention strategies. The campaign identifies three layers to increase pool safety and reduce childhood drowning: supervision, barriers, and emergency preparedness. An on-line toolkit is available at

Older Adult Falls Prevention—Unintentional falls are the leading cause of injury death among Florida residents ages 65 years and older and the fourth leading cause of injury death overall. In addition, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injury-related hospital admissions in Florida.

Safe Kids Florida—Local coalitions provide leadership in their communities in an effort to reduce the number of childhood injuries, a leading killer of children ages 19 and under.

Distracted Driving Prevention—Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving.  All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.  The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. Partners in this effort include SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), Safe Kids coalitions, emergency medical services and local, county and state law enforcement agencies. 

Florida Injury and Violence Prevention Advisory Council (FIVPAC)  —FIVPAC members provide injury prevention research and expertise to the State Health Improvement Plan, Agency Strategic Plan and other health planning documents.

Child Safety Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network (CS-COIIN)—The Children’s Safety Network developed the CS-COIIN to address five topic areas as they relate to children up to age 19: Child Passenger Safety, Teen Driver Safety, Falls/Concussion Prevention, Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention, and Interpersonal Violence Prevention. The Florida VIPP leads teams of injury prevention professionals around the state in planning, implementing, and evaluating initiatives that increase safety of children in Florida. The process used is called Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) and emphasizes evidence-based strategies for injury and violence prevention.


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