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Child home injury prevention: understanding the context of unintentional injuries to preschool children

Child home injury prevention: understanding the context of unintentional injuries to preschool children

International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion 16(3): 159-167

Injury to young children at home is a public health problem. In New Zealand, over half the injury deaths and hospitalisations among 0-4 year olds occur at home. Causes and risk factors for child injury have been identified, but their circumstances are not well described. Understanding the context, however, is important for developing and implementing effective prevention. To obtain the descriptions of injury events, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 100 caregivers of 0-4 year olds attending an emergency department for a home injury. Analysis from this exploratory study indicated that most events occurred within usual family activity, but had multiple factors interacting. Injury was rarely the expected outcome. Findings concurred with findings from others' research that reported home injury to be complex and multifaceted. Factors related to the environment, the child, the parent, their behaviours and activity interacted, with common patterns preceding injury being evident such as times of day and disrupted routines. Factors were often found to occur regardless of the cause of injury. Complex parental factors were identified, such as not anticipating risk, having unrealistic expectations of children, lacking knowledge of child development and accepting injury as a norm. Directions for further research are identified.

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Accession: 052056959

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19941214

DOI: 10.1080/17457300903135636

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