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Health Indicator Report of Student Injuries

The Student Injury Reporting system is a critical piece of Utah injury prevention efforts because it gives injury professionals timely data that identify where, when, how, and why students get injured at school. By using this information, education officials can pinpoint risk factors at individual schools and develop safety guidelines and prevention programs. School-related injuries are a significant public health problem. Appropriate interventions and prevention programs can minimize the physical and financial impact of injury on the individual, family, school, and community.

Percentage of Student Injuries by School Period and School Type, Utah, 2017-18 to 2019-20


The criteria for reporting school injuries is that the injury caused the loss of at least one-half day of school and/or warranted medical attention and treatment from a school nurse, physician, or other health care provider. Elementary schools consist of Kindergarten through 6th grade. Secondary schools consist of 7th through 12th grade (Middle, Junior, and High Schools).   *Use caution in interpreting; the estimate has a coefficient of variation >30% and is therefore deemed unreliable by Utah Department of Health standards.

Data Source

Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Health Promotion, Violence and Injury Prevention Program

Data Interpretation Issues

School injuries involving pre-schoolers and specialized schools, such as night classes, alternative schools, and special education schools, are not included. School years are defined as being in session between August 1 and July 31. No adjustment for year-round schools was made. School enrollment numbers for K-12 grades exclude self-contained special education, homebound, and hospitalized students. Some Utah school districts are better than others at reporting injuries, which may make those schools appear to have more student injuries. In addition, student injury reporting forms are not submitted to the Violence and Injury Prevention Program at regular intervals, therefore, injury numbers from the previous school years may increase as forms are submitted. An online database was initiated in 2011, administrators now complete electronic forms, which are reviewed by the Violence and Injury Prevention Program.


The student injury rate is reported as the number of student injuries among kindergarten through 12th-graders in Utah schools per 1,000 students.


The number of public school student injuries that meet criteria.


The number of public school students enrolled in school.

Healthy People Objective IVP-26:

Reduce sports and recreation injuries
U.S. Target: 41.9 injuries per 1,000 population

Other Objectives

Healthy People 2020 Objective AH-5.6: [[br]] Decrease school absenteeism among adolescents due to illness or injury [[br]] *'''U.S. Target:''' To be determined [[br]] [[br]] Healthy People 2010 Objective IVP-27: [[br]] Increase the proportion of public and private schools that require students to wear appropriate protective gear when engaged in school-sponsored physical activities [[br]] [[br]] *IVP-27.1: Physical education **'''U.S. Target:''' 84.5 percent [[br]] *IVP-27.2: Intramural activities or physical activity clubs **'''U.S. Target:''' 94.4 percent [[br]] Healthy People 2020 Objective IVP-34: [[br]] Reduce physical fighting among adolescents [[br]] *'''U.S. Target:''' 28.4 percent *'''State Target:''' 25.4 percent [[br]] Healthy People 2020 Objective IVP-35: [[br]] Reduce bullying among adolescents *'''U.S. Target:''' 17.9 percent *'''State Target:''' 25.4 percent [[br]] Healthy People 2020 Objective IVP-36: [[br]] Reduce weapon carrying by adolescents on school property *'''U.S. Target:''' 4.6 percent *'''State Target:''' 14.4 percent

How Are We Doing?

School injuries have decreased since 2012-13, and the rate of student injuries has remained fairly stable since 2014-2015. From school years 2015-16 to 2017-18, 6th graders had the highest percentage of student injuries (10.2%), this trend has remained consistent since 2007-08. Among female students, 6th graders had the highest number of injuries (9.6%). Among all male students, most student injuries occurred in either 6th or 8th grade (10.5%). During this time frame, females accounted for 39.0% of the injuries while males accounted for 61.0%. Males had more injuries than females in 4th-8th and 12th grades. Injuries begin to decline among high school students. The majority of elementary school students (K-6th grade) are injured during lunch recess (32.8%), and during recess (34.7%) while the majority of secondary school students (7th-12th grades) are injured during PE class (34.7%) and during class time (20.7%). A possible fracture or broken bone is the most common type of injury in both elementary and secondary schools.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

On a national level, middle and high school students sustain more injuries than elementary school students. In Utah and across the nation, most grade school injuries occur on the playground and playfield. In contrast, sports injuries take the lead in secondary schools, as students enter competitive sports. It's also known that coaches tend to report injuries less often, making those kinds of activities appear safer than they may actually be. During the school year 2017-2018, the reported injury rate was 8.9 per 1,000 students (CI: 8.7-9.1).

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) began investigating school-related injures in 1982. However, since there was no uniform or standardized system for reporting and collecting student injury data, it was not possible to determine the frequency, nature, severity, or contributing factors of these injuries. Together with the Utah State Office of Education and local school districts, the UDOH developed the Student Injury Reporting (SIR) system to better identify school injury problems, implement interventions, and prevent injuries. The UDOH Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is the current administrator of SIR. SIR was one of the first statewide school injury reporting systems developed in the United States. In 2012, the VIPP established an electronic Student Injury Reporting system where school administrators are able to directly enter their student injuries. Since the 2012-13 school year, a total of 30,250 student injuries have been reported through the SIRs, averaging 5,042 per year. But because there is no law that requires schools to report injuries, the VIPP estimates that the true number may actually be twice as high. The following activities are underway to make Utahns more aware of the problem of school injury and of the importance of prevention: [[br]] # School districts can query school-level data on a secure IBIS-Q system # Student injury data is queryable at the state level on [[a href="query/selection/studentinj/StudentInjSelection.html" IBIS-Q]] # Publication of articles in professional journals using school injury data # Continuing education and training on the web-based student injury reporting system for personnel responsible for completing school injury forms # Educating all school district superintendents regarding data findings # Maintaining an accurate and current school injury database # Providing current data to all who are interested

Evidence-based Practices

The following are resources for preventing student injuries: *Student Injury Reporting System: [] *CDC Brain Injury Basics: [] **[[a href='' Youth Sports]] **[[a href='' School Sports]] **[[a href='' School Nurses]]

Available Services

VIPP can provide data, fact sheets, prevention tips, and other resources on a wide variety of school-related injury topics. Violence and Injury Prevention Program[[br]] 801-538-6864[[br]] []

Health Program Information

The mission of the Violence and Injury Prevention Program is to promote the health of Utah citizens by working to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries and resultant deaths. Its goals are to a) focus prevention efforts on reducing intentional and unintentional injury, b) conduct education aimed at increasing awareness and changing behaviors that contribute to the occurrence of injury, c) strengthen local health department capacity to conduct local injury prevention programs, d) promote legislation, policy changes, and enforcement that will reduce injury hazards and increase safe behaviors, e) collaborate with private and public partners, and f) improve the Utah Department of Health capacity to collect mortality and morbidity data from multiple sources and conduct injury epidemiology for use in prevention planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Page Content Updated On 10/21/2021, Published on 11/23/2021
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Fri, 29 September 2023 1:41:02 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 23 Nov 2021 12:18:21 MST