Injury Prevention

Injuries are a leading cause of death and hospitalization in Ontario. Over a million people in Ontario had an injury severe enough that required an emergency room (ER) visit in 2021.

Of those, almost 90,000 were hospitalized and over 6,000 died because of their injuries. Even for those who survived, some will experience decreased quality of life due to their injury.

The Brant County Health Unit leads or collaborates with community partners to build injury prevention strategies. The Health Unit also provides research and resources for community stakeholders and advocates for policy change that will reduce injuries in our community.

Learn more about some of the most common injuries the Health Unit provides guidance by following the links below:

Falls affect Ontarians of all ages and can occur in any setting including at home, in the playground, at the store, and at the hospital.

In Canada, falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among older adults and represent the leading health care cost of all injuries for children ages 0 – 14.

A fall can have a devastating and lasting impact on a person, resulting in injury, chronic pain and a reduced quality of life. The good news is that there are actions you can take to prevent falls.

Falling is not a normal part of aging and most falls can be prevented.

Everyone has a role to play in preventing falls including older adults, caregivers, family members, and friends.

Below are some steps that can help older adults prevent falls:

Take care of yourself

  • Exercise regularly to improve your strength, muscle tone, and balance. Walk if you can. Swimming may be a good choice, if you cannot walk easily.
  • Have your vision and hearing checked each year or any time you notice a change.
  • Know the side effects of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether the medicines you take can affect your balance.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol can impair your balance and other senses.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have numbness in your feet.
  • To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids. You may get dizzy if you do not drink enough water.  Choose water and other clear liquids. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.

Half of the falls causing hospital stays happen at home. You can take steps to make your home safer.

  • Remove raised doorway thresholds, throw rugs, and clutter. Repair loose carpet or raised areas in the floor.
  • Move furniture and electrical cords to keep them out of walking paths.
  • If you use a walker or cane, put rubber tips on it. If you use crutches, clean the bottoms of them regularly with an abrasive pad, such as steel wool.
  • Keep your house well lit, especially stairways, porches, and outside walkways. Use night-lights in areas such as hallways and washrooms.
  • Install sturdy handrails on stairways.
  • Move items in your cabinets so that the things you use a lot are on the lower shelves (about waist level).
  • Wear low-heeled shoes that fit well and give your feet good support. Use footwear with non-skid soles. Check the heels and soles of your shoes for wear. Repair or replace worn heels or soles.
  • Do not wear socks without shoes on smooth floors, such as wood.
  • Walk on the grass when the sidewalks are slippery. If you live in an area that gets snow and ice in the winter, sprinkle salt on slippery steps and sidewalks. Or ask a family member or friend to do this for you.

A concussion is a type of brain injury.  It is caused by any hit to the head, face or neck, or a hit to the body that shakes the head and causes the brain to move quickly within the skull. Concussions can affect a way a person feels, both physically and emotionally.  It can also affect a person’s thinking skills and sleep. These impacts can make it difficult to do day to day activities.


  • From (2016 – 2018), 1,421 people visited the emergency department in Brantford-Brant because of concussions
  • Concussions can cause a number of different signs and symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and irritability
  • Symptoms may appear immediately or be felt days after an injury, especially in children and older adults
  • Only a medical doctor or a nurse practitioner can diagnose a concussion
  • Most people who can have a concussion do not lose consciousness
  • A concussion cannot be seen or diagnosed by x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
  • Recovery from a concussion is different for everyone. It is a gradual process and can take days, weeks, months or sometimes years. Recovery can depend on different factors such as the severity of the concussion, history of previous brain injuries, and age.
  • Helmets don’t prevent concussions; no protective equipment does! Protective equipment can help reduce the risk and severity of injuries, such as skull fractures
  • Baseline testing is not required for post injury care of young athletes with a suspected or diagnosed concussion

What to Do: Recovering from a Concussion

  • The symptoms of a concussion usually last one to four weeks, but may last longer.
  • In some cases, it can take weeks or months to heal. If a person has had a concussion before, it may take them longer to heal the next time.
  • Talk to your medical doctor or nurse practitioner about developing a gradual and individualized plan to return to normal activities such as school, sports and work.

Bicycles are vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, with the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. Drivers and cyclists must understand their responsibilities and work together to keep roads safe.

Safety tips for Cyclists

– All cyclists under 18 years-of-age must wear a helmet, by law.  To provide maximum protection, the helmet should fit level and square on your head. It should fit snugly and not slip when you move your head.

– Wear bright coloured or reflective clothing. This helps you be seen by other vehicles.

– Your bike should have A white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between 1/2 hour before sunset and 1/2 hour after sunrise.

– Cyclists should yield to pedestrians the same way cars do.

– Walk your bike (do not ride) across pedestrian crosswalks.

– Always ride in the same direction as traffic.

– Avoid wearing earphones, texting and talking on the phone while riding your bike.

– Use your bell, horn, hand signals or voice to communicate that you are passing, approaching or are close to another cyclist.

– Always ride sober.

Safety tips for Drivers

– Do not pass a cyclist until you can see that you can safely do so. You should allow ample space (minimum one metre) between your vehicle and the bicycle. Passing too closely can mean the drag from your car can pull a cyclist off course and cause the rider to swerve out of control.

– Be aware that a cyclist may ride in any part of the lane if their safety warrants it.

– Ensure you are not cutting off a cyclist when you are turning right.

– Watch for approaching cyclists when you are making a left turn.

– Before opening your car door, check your rearview mirror and look over your shoulder to ensure there are no cyclists behind you.

Pedestrian injuries are a significant cause of injury-related deaths in Ontario; it is up to both drivers and pedestrians to keep everyone safe.

When you are walking:

  • Be predictable and visible.
  • Do not place yourself in the path of oncoming traffic.
  • Cross only at traffic signals, crosswalks, and stop signs.
  • Look all ways before crossing.
  • Walk, don’t run, across intersections.
  • Only cross when you have enough time to safely do so.
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers before stepping off the curb. Just because you see the car, doesn’t mean that the driver sees you!
  • Wait for vehicles to stop before crossing in front of them.
  • Distracted walking is dangerous, do not use any devices while near traffic, keep eyes focused on surroundings.