Health is a condition of full physical, mental and emotional well-being. It may be achieved via a range of daily activities, most often interdependent, and can include the absence of sickness. Wellness is also obtained through medical intervention and inpatient rehabilitation.
Health has many aspects, including prevention of accidents and fatalities. Prevention is done by avoiding hazards that may cause accidents or fatalities. Occupational health has to do with protecting workers from occupational injuries, especially those caused by faulty or unsafe procedures. Community health involves preventive measures undertaken to decrease morbidity and mortality rates in local communities. Community health programs focus on the overall well-being of the population as a whole.
Prevention of unintentional injuries and fatalities must begin at an early age. A good strategy would be to include “What to Do When” in the daily routine. Parents can incorporate this into homeschooling for their children. The resulting strategies will help reduce unintentional injuries and fatalities among older adults and children.
Unintentional injuries occur when people are injured or killed as a result of being careless. The leading causes of unintentional injuries are auto accidents and pedestrian deaths. Some states and the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) have already taken steps to reduce deaths and injuries related to automobiles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has outlined a national plan for auto safety that includes new construction and vehicle maintenance guidelines.
Among the leading cause of unintentional injuries, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for younger drivers. Among drivers over the age of 25, nearly four in ten traffic accidents involved a motor vehicle. As a nation, we have come to consider speed as a way of life. Unfortunately, this attitude leads to impaired judgment and reckless driving, which can result in an accident. New York State has made some significant changes to improve the quality of drivers driving the streets.
Although we have made considerable progress in reducing motor vehicle crashes, the goal is to reduce injuries from injuries caused by vehicles in collisions. An initiative sponsored by Governor David A. Paterson and released in October 2009, the “Quality of Life Through Safety Act” seeks to ensure the safe driving practices of all New Yorkers. The goals include reducing the number of motor vehicle crashes by up to forty percent and preventing eighteen injuries among children transported in a vehicle from the scene of an accident. The measures also call for a reduction in the number of accidental deaths involving children and provide pediatric emergency services referrals and tracking systems for those who seek care after an accident. Although it is expected that the statistics will begin to improve as more steps are taken, the goal of the Quality of Life Through Safety Act is still far from realization.
As one of the leading cities in the United States for its population growth and affluent lifestyle, New York City ranks poorly in national rankings for health and injury data. This is likely due to the greater number of unhealthy people in the urban area than those found in rural areas. It has also been recently discovered that the urban environment creates more stress on cardiovascular and respiratory health and creates a greater likelihood for premature death due to poor fitness levels and higher risks of obesity and diabetes.
There are many reasons that the ratio of the injured to the sick in motor vehicle crashes is high. Studies have shown that a greater percentage of younger adults, those aged 25 and below, are involved in these types of accidents than any other age group. Many of these accidents occur at night or during the day when the victims are more prone to physical assaults and greater health risks because of lack of sleep. On the other hand, older adults are more likely to suffer fatal injuries, and many suffer from traumatic brain injuries. Although it is clear that the rate of injuries for both drivers and passengers is rising, there is still a tendency for younger adults to be involved in motor vehicle crashes that are responsible for more severe and expensive injuries.