Susan Buckley, RN, Director, Public Health
Ira Singh, MPH, Deputy Director
Donald I. Baird, MD, Health Officer

Injury Prevention Program

"Injury is probably the most under recognized major
public health problem facing the nation today."
(National Academy of Sciences, 1988)

Injuries to children, adolescents and adults are not only debilitating and often devastating, but they also impose great costs on society. A recent California report that showed that Humboldt County ranked 55 out of 58 counties in a three-year average from 1999-2001, rating it as one of the highest counties for unintentional injuries.

Injury prevention is a good investment.

  • It is estimated that the annual cost of injury is more than $224 billion for direct medical care, rehabilitation, lost wages, and productivity losses.
  • Every $1 spent on bicycle helmets saves society $30.
  • Every $1 spent on child seats saves society $32.
  • Every $1 spent on smoke alarms saves society $65.


The Injury Prevention Program mission is to decrease the number and severity of unintentional injuries to children ages 0 to 14. We invite you to participate in or contact the following programs designed to provide information and assistance to parents, guardians, and caregivers to help keep our children safe.

Water Safety/Drowning Prevention

"Think, Don’t Sink!"

The Injury Prevention Program is the lead agency participating in the Northwestern Water Safety Coalition, a group of concerned citizens and representatives from water-related organizations working toward water safety awareness and drowning prevention. This coalition includes members from Six Rivers National Forest, National Weather Service, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol, Humboldt State University Activities Program, U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management, Park Rangers and marine equipment suppliers.

The NCWSC promotes water safety awareness by creating and distributing water safety materials and messages for print and broadcast media.

Water safety posters, flyers and drowning prevention fact sheets are available by calling Jan Ostrom, Health Education specialist in the Injury Prevention Program at (707) 268-2148.

Need Water Safety Information?

Click on the following link to the Northwestern California Water Safety Coalition

Lifejackets Save Lives!

The Lifejacket Loan Program, established by the Health Education Division, makes available free lifejackets for children and adults for a day or week-end loan during the summer water recreation season. Click here for more information and locations.

Child Passenger Safety

Each year, more children die from injuries received in vehicle crashes than all childhood diseases combined. The state of California Motor Vehicle Code 27360 requires that children riding in most motor vehicles be properly restrained in a federally approved, age-appropriate child passenger safety seat until they are six years old or weigh 60 pounds. This includes booster seats for children not tall enough for seatbelts to protect them.

Need information on car seats, booster seats, airbag safety, etc.?
Humboldt County’s Child Passenger Safety Program has free classes, car seat installation assistance and safety seat inspections. Click here for information, locations and schedules.

Fire Safety / Fire Prevention

Having a Home Fire Safety Plan and working smoke detectors in your home can save your life when a fire occurs. With the help of Eureka Fire Department the Health Education Injury Prevention Program distributes smoke alarms and replacement batteries to local families. Keep your family fire safe. Know what to do before a fire starts. Click here for Fire safety tips and preparedness information in English and Spanish.

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