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.
Number of student injuries per 1,000 students K-12 by school year, Utah, 2000-01 to 2009-10 and 2012-13 to 2021-22
NotesThe 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). [[br]]Old Methodology = data entry from paper forms to database[[br]]New Methodology = online database
- Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Health Promotion and Prevention, Violence and Injury Prevention Program
- Utah State Office of Education
Data Interpretation IssuesSchool 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.
DefinitionThe student injury rate is reported as the number of student injuries among kindergarten through 12th-graders in Utah schools per 1,000 students.
NumeratorThe number of public school student injuries that meet criteria.
DenominatorThe number of public school students enrolled in school.
How Are We Doing?The rate of student injuries decreased from the 2018-2019 school year to the 2019-2020 school year, and has increased year over year into the 2021-2022 school year. However, the rate in 2021-2022 was still lower than the rate in 2018-2019 (7.4 per 1,000 students versus 8.2 respectively). The grades with the highest percentages of student injuries from 2019-2020 school year to 2021-2022 school year were 7th and 9th graders. The grade with the lowest percentage of student injuries was 12th graders. Among females, 9th graders made up the largest proportion of student injuries (9.5%). Among males, 7th grades made up the largest proportion (10.5%). The majority of elementary school students (K-6th grade) are injured during recess (39.0%), and during lunch recess (31.2%) while the majority of secondary school students (7th-12th grades) are injured during PE class (34.6%) and during class time (23.5%). A possible fracture or broken bone is the most common type of injury.
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.
What Is Being Done?The Utah Department of Health and Human Services (UDHHS) 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 UDHHS developed the Student Injury Reporting (SIR) system to better identify school injury problems, implement interventions, and prevent injuries. The UDHHS 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. But because there is no law that requires schools to report injuries, the VIPP estimates that the true number or reported injuries may actually be far higher. 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 PracticesThe following are resources for preventing student injuries: *Child and Adolescent Injuries: [https://vipp.utah.gov/child-adolescent-injuries/] *CDC Brain Injury Basics: [https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/]
Available ServicesVIPP 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]] [http://health.utah.gov/vipp/]
Health Program InformationThe 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 12/01/2023, Published on 12/08/2023