Safe summers: Adapting evidence-based injury prevention into a summer curriculum

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for those aged 0 years to 19 years. St. Louis Children’s Hospital created Safety Land, a comprehensive injury prevention intervention which is provided during summer months. This program uses a life-size board game to teach safety education to children in ages 5 years to 11 years. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Safety Land on safety knowledge in children that participated in the intervention.

METHODS

St. Louis Children’s Hospital identified ZIP codes with the highest use of the emergency room for injury. Daycares and summer camps within these ZIP codes were targeted for the Safety Land intervention. A multiple choice pretest and posttest survey was designed to measure knowledge change within program participants. Students were selected for testing based on site availably. Within these sites, a convenience sample of children was selected for pretesting and posttesting. Safety Land staff conducted the pretest a week before the intervention, and the posttest was administered the week after the intervention. A total knowledge score was calculated to determine overall knowledge change. Descriptive statistics and independent-samples t tests were conducted to determine statistical significance of change in knowledge (p < 0.05) for each question.

RESULTS

Between May 2014 and August 2016, 3,866 children participated in Safety Land. A total of 310 children completed the pretest and 274 completed the posttest. Mean test scores increased from 66.7% to 85.1% and independent-samples t test of the total knowledge score was significant (p < 0.05) between pretest and posttest values.

CONCLUSION

Findings suggest that this intervention is effective in increasing the knowledge of safety behaviors for children receiving the curriculum during the summer months. Further research should focus on long-term behavior changes in these youth.

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