Individuals who experience housing insecurity, or poor-quality housing can have an overall lower health status and be at an increased risk for injury. Individuals residing in rental or substandard housing are more likely to be at risk for injury because of the lack of safety equipment for their children and possible structural hazards. 

Some of these potential risks include substandard heating or electrical systems, and stairways without appropriate safety features (e.g., too narrow, inadequate handrails, poor lighting, lack of safety gates). These risks are likely to be higher for individuals of lower SES, since people who are struggling to afford to maintain older homes or who reside in low-income rental units often live without appropriate upgrades.

The housing crisis in Atlantic Canada is currently exacerbated by the rise in the cost of living, and climate change, such as natural disasters including wildfires and flooding. This places populations susceptible to stress and a lower mental health status, increasing their risk of injury.housing_2.png

  • In Atlantic Canada, falls from stairs and furniture account for 17% of pediatric falls resulting in hospitalization, while burns are the second leading cause of fatal injury in children.
  • Approximately 10% of all burns resulting in hospitalization of children are caused by tap water that is too hot.
  • The link between living in areas of concentrated poverty and concentrated racial minority status and injury to children is partially explained by housing conditions, as children who live in older or rented homes experience higher rates of injury.
  • The injuries associated with structural problems are often more serious than those that result from more common household hazards, such as falls from furniture.
  • Fatal household injuries are frequently caused by falls from windows and stairs, as well as by fires caused by faulty electrical wiring and appliances.
Information regarding housing and injury is from ACIP's Social Determinants of Injury Report. 


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