RWJF Rates Ohio Among Worst For Injury Prevention
Ohio and Montana scored the lowest among all 50 states in a new State-by State Injury Prevention Report released, May 21, by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).
Injuries—including those caused by accidents and violence—are the third leading cause of death nationally, and they are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44.
According to The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report, Ohio received only a “2” on a scale of one to ten, while 24 states scored a five or lower. The report identifies ten key indicators of steps states can take to prevent injuries. (Ohio only receives points for requiring booster seats and having a drug monitoring program.)
- Does the state have a primary seat belt law? (Thirty-two states and Washington, D.C., meet the indicator, and 18 state do not.)
- Does the state require mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, even first-time offenders? (Sixteen states meet the indicator, and 34 states and Washington, D.C., do not.)
- Does the state have a universal helmet law requiring helmets for all motorcycle riders? (Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., meet the indicator, and 31 states do not.)
- Does the state require car seats or booster seats for children to at least the age of 8? (Thirty-three states and Washington, D.C., meet the indicator, and 17 states do not.)
- Does the state require bicycle helmets for all children? (Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., meet the indicator, and 29 states do not.)
- Does the state allow for people in dating relationships to get protection orders? (Forty-four states and Washington, D.C., meet the indicator, and six states do not)
- Did the state receive an “A” grade in the teen dating violence laws analysis conducted by the Break the Cycle Organization? (Six states and Washington, D.C., meet the indicator, and 44 states did not.)
- Does the state have a strong youth sports concussion safety law? (Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C., meet the indicator, and 13 states do not.)
- Did the state enact a prescription drug monitoring program? (Forty-eight states meet the indicator, and two states and Washington, D.C., do not.)
- Did more than 90 percent of injury discharges from hospitals receive external cause-of-injury coding in the state, which help researchers and health officials track industry trends and evaluate prevention programs? (Twenty-three states meet the indicator, and 27 states and Washington, D.C., do not.)
The Facts Hurt report concludes that millions of injuries could be prevented each year if more states adopted additional research-based injury prevention policies, and if programs were fully implemented and enforced. Approximately 50 million Americans are medically treated for injuries each year, and more than 2.8 million are hospitalized. Nearly 12,000 children and teens die from injuries resulting from accidents each year and around 9.2 million are treated in emergency rooms. Every year, injuries generate $406 billion in lifetime costs for medical care and lost productivity.
The report also identified a set of emerging new injury threats, including a dramatic, fast rise in prescription drug abuse, concussions in school sports, bullying, crashes from texting while driving and an expected increase in the number in falls as the Baby Boomer generation ages.
The report also finds that funding for injury prevention for states from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) averages only $0.28 per American—and has dropped 24 percent from fiscal years 2006 to 2011—and only 31 states have full-time injury and violence prevention directors, which limits injury prevention efforts.