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Injuries are largely predictable and preventable, and can be controlled by either preventing an event that causes injury, or by lessening the impact of an injury event. Ways in which this can happen include education, engineering and design of safety products, enactment and enforcement of policies and laws, economic incentives, and improvements in emergency care. Some examples include the design and oversight of car seats and seatbelts, workplace regulations regarding safety practices, vouchers for items such as smoke alarms, and tax incentives for fitting home pools with fences.

There were over 40 million injury-related emergency department (ED) visits in 2003. Among females, 30 percent of all ED visits were injury-related, compared to 41 percent of all male ED visits. This represents 12.7 injury-related visits per 100 females each year compared to 15.5 visits per 100 males. Among females, the highest rate of injury-related ED visits (16.5 per 100 people) occurred among those aged 15 to 24 years and 75 years and older; however, due to the age distribution of the population, they represented only 17.7 and 8.9 percent of all female ED visits, respectively.

Unintentional and intentional injuries represented a higher proportion of ED visits for males than females in 2003. Among males and females aged 18 years and older, unintentional injuries accounted for 27.8 and 20.0 percent of ED visits, respectively, while intentional injuries represented 1.7 and 2.4 percent. Among both males and females, the two most common causes of injury were falls and motor vehicle crashes.

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.