Childhood unintentional injuries: the perceived impact of the environment, lack of supervision and child characteristics

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Abstract

Background

Investigations into the context and causation of injury, including injury risks, are an essential part of the injury prevention knowledge base. Caregiver perceptions of childhood injury risks may assist in the design of safety interventions and influence the way in which an intervention is received within a community.

Methods

Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted in two low-income neighbourhoods in South Africa to collect information on caregiver perceptions of injury risks. The data were analysed via thematic content analysis.

Results

The results revealed that injury risks are perceived as multifaceted and as contributing synergistically to an injury event. Parents of children also tended to attribute most risks to the environment instead of individual action.

Conclusions

Interventions including passive strategies and less activity from the parent may be welcomed in communities. Attention should be given to child injury prevention methods specifically for low-income contexts.

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