About Injury

ACIP defines injury and injury prevention in a manner that is consistent with the Canadian Injury Prevention Curriculum from the Canadian Collaborating Centers on Injury Prevention (CCCIP) of which ACIP is a member.

The Definition of Injury
An injury is the physical damage that results when a human body is suddenly or briefly subjected to intolerable levels of energy. The time between exposure to the energy and the appearance of an injury is short. The energy may be mechanical, thermal, electrical, or chemical.

Injuries by Intent

Injuries can be classified as intentional or unintentional. Intentional injuries may be self-inflicted or other-inflicted. Self-inflicted intentional injuries include suicide, suicide-attempts, and self-harm. Other-inflicted intentional injuries include all forms of violence. Unintentional injuries include incidents such as unintended falls, motor vehicle collisions, burns, drowning, poisoning, or threats to breathing. Unintentional injuries are not accidents. Like intentional injuries, the majority are predictable and preventable.

Injury Prevention
Ongoing strategies, policies, or programs designed to eliminate or reduce the occurrence and severity of injuries. 

The Social Determinants of Injury

The burden of injury is not shared equally amongst the population. Injury rates are tied to a wide range of social and economic factors that include but are not limited to, income, education, gender identity, gender expression, ability, Indigenous status, race, housing status, social environment, and work environment. Injury prevention strategies, policies, and programs must be designed through an intersectional lens to be effective at reducing injuries throughout Atlantic Canada. For more information on the Social Determinants of health, visit and explore the Social Determinants of Injury tab on our website. 

 The Four E's of Injury Prevention 

Education, Enforcement, Engineering, Equity 
  • Education involves educating the public, using skilled training on how to reduce the risk of injury. An example can be educating parents on how to safely install a children's car seat to promote child passenger safety.
  • Enforcement involves the development of policies, laws and strategies aimed at reducing the risk of injury. An example of enforcement can be the law that all passengers traveling in a road vehicle must wear a seatbelt. Or individuals must wear a bike helmet when biking. 
  • Engineering involves developing a product or modifying a product to make its use more effective in reducing the risk of injury. An example can be installation of speed bumps on streets in school zones to reduce the risk of a student or teacher being injured by a motorized vehicle.
  • Equity involves injury prevention professionals including the whole population of Canada when designing policy, laws and frameworks to prevent injury and promote health.  
Information from Pike I, Richmond S, Rothman L, Macpherson A (eds.) (2015). Canadian Injury Prevention Resource. Parachute, publisher: Toronto, ON.

For more information about the Canadian Injury Prevention Curriculum, go to

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