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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 “damage or harm caused to the structure or function of the body caused by an outside agent or force.”

The major categories of injury are unintentional (accidental) and intentional. Unintentional injuries include those that result from motor vehicle collisions, falls, fires, poisonings, drownings, suffocation, choking, animal bites, 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 (includes child sexual abuse), intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and sexual assault.

Common injuries include: poisonings, fractures, open wounds, sprains and strains, etc. The agents or forces causing these injuries are referred to as the external cause of injury and include, but are not limited to: motor vehicle crashes, falls, fires, firearms, poisonings, drownings, suffocation, animal bites, and recreational and sports-related activities.

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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 fourth 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), except for poisoning, Florida’s age-adjusted injury death rates were higher than the national average and the top largest states by 8.18 percent for all unintentional injuries, 4.7 percent for unintentional motor vehicle injuries, 13.41 percent for suicides, and a staggering 200.4 percent 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: CA, TX, NY, FL, and IL (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." (excerpt from the 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 Injury Prevention Section

Early Childhood Drowning Prevention—In 2011, a new statewide educational toolkit and drowning prevention campaign was launched: WaterproofFL: Pool Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility. The campaign emphasizes three layers of protection: supervision, barriers, and emergency preparedness, and offers an online toolkit and materials 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. 

Florida Injury Prevention Advisory Council (FIPAC)  —The Florida Injury Prevention Advisory Council was appointed to provide injury prevention research and practice expertise and to assist in the development, implementation and evaluation of the 2014-2016 Florida Injury Prevention State Plan  and 2014-2016 Florida Injury Prevention Operational Plan.


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Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this section by phone or in writing.

For additional information on injury prevention activities in Florida, please contact the Injury Prevention Section.

4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A22
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1722
Phone: 850-245-4440
Fax: 850-414-6470

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.