Ontario releases injury prevention strategy
Ontario’s Ministry of Health Promotion has launched an injury prevention strategy – the first of its kind in Ontario – to reduce the frequency, severity and impact of preventable injuries. The Aug. 8 launch included an announcement that the government will fund ThinkFirst Canada to provide free helmets for low-income children and youth. “Injuries are one of the most pervasive yet preventable health challenges facing this province and all Ontarians are at risk,” said Ontario Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson at the launch in Kitchener, Ont. ThinkFirst will roll out the helmet program in three phases, according to the news release announcing the strategy. Phase one will provide 1,000 helmets to youth at bicycle helmet fitting clinics in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, Toronto and North Bay. Phase two will provide sport helmets to some community recreation programs for participant use in ongoing programs. Phase three will be a sport helmet voucher program for low-income youth.
Ministry to invest $2 million in strategy
The Ontario government will invest about $2 million in the strategy in 2007-2008. In addition to the helmet program, that includes:
- the Ontario Children’s Rural Safety Program, in partnership with Safe Kids Canada. The goal is to raise awareness and understanding of farm-related injuries in children and how to prevent them.
- the Community-Based Injury Prevention Mobilization initiative, in partnership with Safe Communities Canada, which will expand their model into several communities at greatest risk of injury
- support will be given to the Ontario Public Health Association’s injury prevention projects, which include the Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre services provided by SMARTRISK
- and support for public health managers overseeing the Injury Prevention Including Substance Abuse Prevention mandatory program, with the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation.
The 18-page document, Ontario’s Injury Prevention Strategy, is available online.
Updated August 8, 2007