Injury and Violence Prevention


ississippi's rate of death due to injuries, both intentional and unintentional, exceeds the national rate by more than fifty percent. Despite evidence that most injuries are preventable, they continue to constitute one of the most tragic and costly public health problems to date. In the United States, injury causes more than 160,000 fatalities and sends more than 29 million people to the emergency room each year.

Motor Vehicle Safety

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of injury-related deaths in the state, and Mississippi has one of the highest per-capita motor vehicle fatality rates in the nation. The Division of Injury and Violence Prevention works collaboratively with the following agencies and other interested parties to promote safety for drivers and passengers in motor vehicles:

Data source: CDC Mortality File 1999-2005

Car Seats and Child Safety

The Division of Injury and Violence Prevention is currently working to increase education and awareness regarding child passenger safety, including car seat use and information about the Booster Seat Law in Mississippi.

Distracted Driving

Cell phone use has been directly linked to increased risk while operating a motor vehicle. Driver distraction is involved in 16 percent of fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Our phone-free driving tips can help you make the road safer for you and others.

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Child Passenger Safety Program

Riding unrestrained is the greatest risk factor for death and injury among child occupants in motor vehicle crashes. According the Mississippi Department of Public Safety in 2008, 76 percent of children under the age of 16 who died in a motor vehicle crash were riding unrestrained. The rate of death due to motor vehicle crashes will be significantly reduced if Mississippi adults properly restrain their children and themselves when riding in a vehicle.

The Mississippi State Department of Health recognizes the severity of this problem and offers instruction on proper installation and use of child restraints. Mississippi now has over 200 certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians across the state. These technicians are trained to check the child restraints to ensure they fit the child properly, are installed correctly inside the vehicle, and are not damaged or expired.

Getting a child safety seat

For those in financial need, a limited number of child safety seats are also available to Mississippi residents with small children. Contact your local health department for more information or to locate a Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area.

Booster seat law

In 2008, a primary Booster Seat Law was passed in Mississippi. Children under the age of 7 years are now required to ride in a properly-fitting child restraint at all times.

More child safety topics

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Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety

Pedestrian and bicycle safety activities are held throughout the nine public health districts in Mississippi. MSDH staff conduct bicycle rodeos, classroom presentations, and community presentations where bicycle helmets (subject to availability) and safety information is distributed. MSDH partners with the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

The Safe Routes to School program helps communities make walking and bicycling to and from school a safe, healthy alternative to taking a car or bus.

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Fire Prevention

The MSDH Fire-Related Injury Prevention Program is a federally funded state-based program to reduce fire deaths. The goal of this program is to implement Public Health Interventions to prevent fire-related injuries. The MSDH Fire-Related Injury Prevention Program plans, promotes, delivers, and evaluates programs and interventions related to fire-related deaths and injuries. Mississippi continues to have one of the highest death rates in the nation from fires. Currently, the program receives funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to install smoke detectors within areas at the highest risk for fire-related death and injury. To contact program staff, call (601) 576-7781.

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Water Safety

When the weather gets hot, it's natural to want to be in or near the water to stay cool. But along with water fun, there are safety precautions that need to be taken when enjoying swimming pools, hot tubs or recreational boating.

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State Plan

The Division of Injury and Violence Prevention at the Mississippi State Department of Health is continuously working to build the infrastructure necessary to address all areas of injury prevention. A state plan is currently being developed to guide the Division in its efforts to reduce the burden of injury in Mississippi. For more information, please contact the Office of Preventive Health at (601) 576-7781.

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For more information about the Division of Injury and Violence Prevention, or one of its programs, please contact:

The Division of Injury and Violence Prevention
Mississippi State Department of Health
570 East Woodrow Wilson
Post Office Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700
601-576-7781 office
601-576-7444 fax

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This page last reviewed on Sep 18, 2001 report errors on this page e-mail email this page print print 

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Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U web@HealthyMS.com Facebook Twitter RSS