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Reintegrating injury prevention
  1. Leon Robertson
  1. 160 Sharps Road, Globe, AZ 85501, USA

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    This could be a landmark year for the journal. The future inclusion of research on injuries to persons of all ages is a welcome move toward reintegration of all aspects of the field under one banner. The interdisciplinary cooperation necessary to advance injury prevention has too often been negated by turf wars. There is an unfortunate side effect of cooperation, however. Too much credence or resources may be devoted to approaches that are ineffective or counter productive.

    The classic article by Haddon reprinted in this issue reminds us that injury prevention is an integral part of a public health tradition that has often been ignored or misunderstood by those who think that injury is caused largely by misbehavior. Injury and illness are physical and biological processes that have numerous points for potential intervention. Since most people are behaving in some way or another when they are injured, behavior is obviously a factor as well. One of the more persistent fights of Haddonites is with behaviorists who resist the Haddon approach to injury prevention.

    If there is something in the water from the Broad Street Pump that is killing people, do we launch a campaign to persuade each individual to get their water elsewhere, or do we shut down the pump? The guard rail that prevents you from going over a cliff does not care whether you left the road because of inattention, drunkenness, distraction by others in …

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