CDC initiated work on the National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention (NAP) in 2009, in conjunction with its partners in the child injury prevention field. To help develop this plan, six work groups led by a chair and/or co-chair consisting of five to eight members prepared outlines of sections of the report. Work group members included experts in child health, emergency medical care, child advocacy, epidemiology, injury research, behavioral science, engineering, communication, and policy, and represented 35 government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Universities.
CDC held a stakeholders meeting in 2010 to respond to the drafts and receive additional input. The 62 public health professionals in attendance reviewed the plan and provided substantive input into the goals and strategies. (See Acknowledgements for a complete roster of action plan participants). CDC and a steering committee used this input to revise the plan as needed. A follow-up meeting with the steering committee, workgroup chairs, and CDC staff was held August 10–11, 2011 to provide final input and to discuss potential implementation plans and next steps for partner organizations.
These efforts led to the NAP, which lays out a vision and a framework for addressing childhood injury prevention in the United States. It also furthers efforts to meet Healthy People 2020 objectives related to child injury prevention.23 Ultimately, the plan provides:
- a coordinated, multi-sector approach to child and adolescent injury prevention,
- a roadmap that aligns priorities, capitalizes on strengths, and targets gaps to fill,
- a process that builds commitment and buy-in,
- a framework for child injury activities of government agencies, NGOs, universities, and others interested in preserving and protecting the health of children and adolescents, and
- an approach to providing clear priority areas as a focus of investment in the future.
Our hope with this plan is that key partners—policy makers, parents, health care practitioners, educators, child care providers, corporate America and small businesses, insurers, the media, philanthropies, advocates, and the general public—take action to keep children in the United States safe from injury-related death and disability.
The vision of theNAP is to prevent injuries to children where they live, learn, play, work, and travel by setting a national strategic direction for moving from awareness to action. The NAP will inform actions cutting across all forms of child unintentional injury and can be leveraged to delineate more specific actions by injury type.
The five key values complementing this vision that underlie a successful public health approach to child injury are:
- Opportunity: Every child has the right to grow up injury-free.
- Prevention: Preventing child injury is possible and will save lives.
- Science: Actions to prevent child injuries must be evidence-based.
- Social Equity: Preventing child injury is an ethical imperative and will reduce health disparities.
- Partnerships: No one organization can effectively address all child injuries. A strong coalition is necessary to galvanize a national effort.
The overall goal of the NAP is to stimulate a national coordinated effort to reduce child and adolescent injury and its accompanying death and disability. Specific goals include:
- Raise awareness: Raise awareness about the magnitude, risk factors, and effects of child injuries in the United States in the context of other health issues.
- Highlight prevention opportunities: Draw attention to the preventability of child injury and unite stakeholders around a common set of goals and strategies.
- Create recommendations for action: Provide recommendations to accelerate child injury prevention efforts through improved data and surveillance, research, communication, education and training, health systems and health care, and policy. These cross-cutting recommendations inform a more comprehensive list of actions by type of injury.
- Develop and mobilize a plan: Outline a plan of action as a platform for organizing and implementing child injury prevention actions for the United States.
- Evaluate and monitor progress: Evaluate and monitor the progress made in the United States in the coming years after attending to recommendations laid out in the plan.
The plan is structured across six domains relevant to child injury prevention, each containing goals and actions based on what we know, where we need to go, and how to get there. The following six domains comprise the blueprint for action:
- Data and surveillance: includes the ongoing and systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of child health data for planning, implementing, and evaluating injury prevention efforts.
- Research: includes research gaps and priorities in risk factor identification, interventions, and program evaluation, and dissemination strategies needed to reduce injuries.
- Communications: includes effective strategies to design and transmit messages and information through relevant delivery channels to target audiences, and to promote injury prevention to others.
- Education and training: includes organized learning experiences for increasing knowledge, attitudes, and behavior change conducive to preventing injuries.
- Health systems and health care: includes the health infrastructure required to deliver quality care and clinical and community preventive services.
- Policy: includes laws, regulations, incentives, administrative actions, and voluntary practices that enable safer environments and decision making.
Taken together, this blueprint calls attention to cross-cutting actions needed. Equally important, it can inform stakeholders with an interest in a specific type of injury about the domains requiring targeted action.
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