Costs by age and sex by cause of injury, 2018

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Every stage of life presents the potential to live life to the fullest. The causes, outcomes and costs of injury shift over the course of a person’s lifetime.

Injury outcome

The total cost of injuries to children (up to 14 years) was $2.9 billion in 2018. Total cost was $4.6 billion for youth and young adults (ages 15 to 24), $14.4 billion for adults (ages 25 to 64) and $7.5 billion for seniors.

Cost type

Costs for falls totalled $996 million for injuries in children and $5.6 billion for injuries in seniors. For falls among seniors, the highest total cost was for injuries to females aged 85-plus ($1.6 billion).

Transport incidents were the top contributor to total injury costs for youth and young adults, at $990 million. Suicide/self-harm was second with a total cost of $873 million for this age category.

Leading causes of injury

Falls were the biggest contributor to total and direct costs for injury in children, adults and seniors. Among youth and young adults, transport incidents had the highest total and direct costs.

Indirect costs showed more variation by age category. The causes associated with highest indirect costs were falls for children, suicide/self-harm for youth and young adults and unintentional poisoning for adults.

Indirect costs for injuries in seniors are presented as zero due to the methodology used, which assumes a retirement age of 65. While this may be an accepted standard methodology for this type of study, it is not reflective of the participation of older adults in the workforce in Canada, which continues to grow, and this will be revisited in future reports.

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