Injury Prevention

Violence and injuries affect everyone, regardless of age, race or economic status. Nearly 180,000 people die in the U.S. yearly from injury - one person every 3 minutes. And, deaths are only part of the problem. Each year, millions of people are injured and survive. They are faced with life-long mental, physical and financial problems.

Injury prevention focuses on potential injury patterns and promotes or implements programs to educate the community about preventable injuries. Our Trauma Services team is committed to teaching the importance of injury prevention. Some of our programs include the following:

Falls Prevention

Falls are a significant concern for Iowans, especially with Iowa's aging population. For all age groups, falls are the second leading cause of injury deaths in Iowa, and the leading cause of injury hospitalizations and emergency visits in Iowa. For those over the age of 65, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths with the highest rate in those over the age of 84. The causes of falling vary with contributing factors, including: reduced strength in lower extremities, use of four or more medications, poor vision, chronic health problems and unsafe home conditions.

Four things you can do to prevent falls:

  1. Begin a regular exercise program. Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your risk for falling.
  2. Have your healthcare provider review your medications. Some medications, or combination of medications can make you dizzy or sleepy and make you fall.
  3. Have your vision checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.
  4. Make your home safer. About half of all falls occur at home. There are several things you can do to make your home safer - remove clutter, small rugs that you may trip over, and install grab bars near the bathtub and toilet.

Matter of Balance (MOB) Course

Matter of Balance is a successful, evidence-based program for older adults. Participants demonstrate significant improvements after completing the course in their level of falls management, falls control, level of exercise and social limitations with regard to concerns about falling.

Sessions include:
  1. Introduction to the Program
  2. Exploring Thoughts and Concerns about Falling
  3. Exercise and Fall Prevention
  4. Assertiveness and Fall Prevention
  5. Managing Concerns about Falling
  6. Recognizing Fall-ty Behavior 
  7. Recognizing Fall Hazards in the Home and Community
  8. Practicing No Fall-ty Habits and Fall Prevention: Putting It All Together

Find Matter of Balance Classes in your area.

Think First Iowa

ThinkFirst Iowa is a teen-based educational program focused on preventing brain and spinal cord injuries. The program encourages youth to make good choices - choices that can save lives. During a ThinkFirst presentation students are made aware of the effects of brain and spinal cord injuries from personal injury stories featured in a fast-paced video and from first-hand testimony from a VIP (Voice for Injury Prevention) presenter. For Driver's education classes, a special segment on the laws and consequences of distracted driving is emphasized.

To learn more about ThinkFirst Iowa or to schedule a presentation go to:

Concussion Prevention

For the safety of our athletes and further prevention of concussions, the state's youth sports concussion safety law went into effect on July 1, 2011. The Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union are required to work together to distribute guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources. The goal is to inform and educate coaches, students, and parents/guardians of students to the risks, signs, symptoms and behaviors consistent with concussion or brain injury, the danger of continuing to play after sustaining a concussion, and their responsibility to report such signs, symptoms, and behaviors if they occur.

Learn more about the CDC's concussion guidelines.

Blank Children's Hospital Programs

Our partners at Blank Children's Hospital Center for Advocacy & Outreach offer numerous programs on injury prevention. Some of these programs include: Safe Kids, fire safety, car seat safety, teen driving, bike safety, window safety and child abuse prevention. Learn more about these programs.