The injury prevention program works to improve public health by taking actions to prevent injuries before they happen. The program works with partners in the community to incorporate injury prevention efforts into their ongoing programs.
Accidental injuries are the leading cause of death among Travis County residents ages 1 to 44; motor vehicle crashes are the majority of these deaths. A report on this can be found in Ten Leading Causes of Death in Travis County.
Safe Sleep for Infants
Sleep-related injury is the leading cause of death among infants between one month and one year of age. Most often these deaths are due to an unsafe sleep environment causing accidental suffocation. Between 2013 and 2017, there were 41 infants who died in their sleep in the City of Austin. The Safe Sleep Coalition, comprised of hospitals, clinics and community organizations, is working to eliminate these tragic deaths. Contact Denise Geleitsmann for a presentation on best practices in safe sleep for infants or to learn more visit our safe sleep webpage.
Child Passenger Safety
To get help on how to install a rear-facing, forward-facing or booster car seat, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
Remember to carefully follow all instructions for your specific car seat and vehicle. You can also visit the car seat manufacturer's website for additional instructions on how to install a specific car seat.
Don't know which seat is right for your child?
Visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/right-seat to find the correct seat based on age, height and weight.
Austin Public Health, in partnership with ATCEMS, provides car seat inspections to ensure that parents are transporting their children safely. If you have questions, please contact Denise Geleitsmann.
For additional information on child safety seats, visit www.safercar.gov/therightseat.
Traffic fatalities are one of the leading causes of death for youth. Click here for Texas laws on child passenger safety.
The Vision Zero Project aims to reduce traffic crash deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2025. Austin Public Health assists with data gathering and analysis. They also provide educational and promotional activities to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
Bicycling is an excellent form of transportation and recreation. The following resources will help make cycling fun and safe.
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America's roadways. In 2012 alone, 3,328 were killed in distracted driving crashes in the US. Austin has a hands-free ordinance that prohibits the use of all electronic hand-held devices while operating a vehicle or bicycle. Here is more information on how to prevent distracted driving.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death to Travis County residents ages 65 and older. Staff partner with other agencies to deliver a comprehensive training called Stepping On for seniors that has proven to reduce the risk of falls among participants. For more information, contact Denise Geleitsmann.
As people stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that there is an increased risk of drowning. Children are at home, out of school, parents and caregivers may be changing their regular supervision duties, and children may have greater access to water in and around the home – bathtubs, pools, buckets, ponds and creeks. Water safety education and awareness is essential at this time. Our community partner, Colin's Hope is a leader in water safety education and has water safety tips as well as a quiz you can take to determine your water safety knowledge.
On average, Texas loses 83 children each year to fatal drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged 1 – 4 and is among the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. An estimated 5 to 7 times as many children survive a non-fatal drowning each year, many times resulting in lifelong injury. Here you'll find more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about drowning and prevention measures.
Open water has hidden hazards and wearing a life jacket can keep you and your family safe. Life jacket loaner stations provide life jackets for children and adults to use free of charge on the honor system that they will be returned when the user leaves the park. Here are the life jacket loaner station locations.
In 2012, the most recent year for which full data are available, 40,600 suicides were reported in the U.S., making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. The Injury Prevention Program works with the Central Texas Suicide Prevention Coalition to identify trends and research and implement best practice methodology in suicide prevention. For more information on suicide prevention, visit Texas Suicide Prevention.
Community Partners, Coalitions and Workgroups
- Texas Department of State Health Services Safe Riders Program
- Texas Department of Public Safety - Safe Gun Storage
- Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services
- Austin Public Works Department
- Austin Transportation Department
- Travis County Child Fatality Review Team
- Austin Safe Kids Coalition
- Travis County Office of the Medical Examiner
- Ghisallo Foundation