Addressing the Issue of Falls off Playground Equipment: An Empirically-Based Intervention to Reduce Fall-Risk Behaviors on Playgrounds

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ObjectiveThe present study evaluated the impact of an intervention to reduce fall-risk behaviors on playgrounds among children 6–11 years of age.MethodsChildren completed posters indicating risky playground behaviors they would and would not do. In the intervention group, video and audio presentations were used to expose children to injury occurrences so that injury vulnerability was communicated in a fear-evoking way. In the control group, children only completed the pre- and post-intervention measures.ResultsSignificant decreases in intentions to risk-take were obtained in the intervention, but not the control group. Effectiveness did not vary with children's age or sex, but was greater for those scoring high in sensation-seeking.ConclusionsA fear-appeals approach proved successful to reduce intended fall-risk behaviors, particularly for children high in sensation-seeking whose risk-taking is motivated by affect arousal.

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