Background National action plan for injury prevention among children and youth in Finland was launched in 2009. National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), national research and expert agency under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (MSAH), has coordinated the program. National action plan includes 216 objectives and proposed measures to promote and prevent accidental injuries and suicides.
Description of the problem Around 122 Finnish children and young people under the age of 25 die annually in accidental injuries and 13,500 are hospitalised (2011–2013). Accidental injuries remain the leading cause of death under the age of 25. Majority of the deaths (83%) occur to 15–24 year olds. Around 25 percent of all 15–24 year-olds who die from accidental injury are intoxicated. Traffic accidents are the most common accidental cause of death in this age group. Accidental falls are causing most of the treatment inpatients periods in hospital, respectively.
Results Despite the continuous decrease of deaths from accidental injuries since the 1970’s, accidental injuries causes major health losses among children and youth. The objectives, measures and their implementation and responsibilities of the National action plan are divided into a number of different experts and government departments. Legislation and national policy guidelines, as well as statistics and databases are generally at a good level in Finland. The monitoring of the management and implementation should be paid more attention.
Conclusions In order to be successful a National action plan requires high level recognition and adequate resources together with systematic coordination. National action plan is essential to be approved by the appropriate ministries and politicians. That made possible and empowered the national level activities and promoted a network of cooperation between the different actors. There is need for targeted accidental injury prevention especially for youth from 15 to 25 years.
- National action plan
- accidental injuries
- injury prevention
- children and youth
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