Injuries are the leading cause of death among children over the age of one year, and a leading cause of hospitalization. However, up to 90 percent of injuries are preventable. Give Your Child a Safe Start is a professionally produced educational video coupled with an information booklet developed by Safe Start, the Injury Prevention Program of BC Children’s Hospital. This resource is an update of the original 1994 version.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Give Your Child a Safe Start video in promoting a change in parental knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding injury prevention for children 0 to 5 years of age.
A cluster‐randomized controlled trial with baseline data collection was used. The target population was parents of children aged 0 to 5 years. Parents were accessed through the ‘Mom and Baby’ Public Health sessions within the Fraser Health Authority. Both the intervention and the comparison groups completed a pre‐session and a four month follow‐up post‐session questionnaire. The intervention group viewed the Give Your Child a Safe Start video during their Public Health session, while the comparison group engaged in a non‐injury related topic such as dental care, immunization, etc. Paired t‐ tests and linear mixed effects modeling were used to analyze the data.
Paired t‐tests found statistically significant differences in participants’ knowledge and practices between the pre‐ and post‐test scores for the intervention group; while the comparison group demonstrated significant differences for knowledge, attitudes and injury prevention practices. The linear mixed effects modeling demonstrated a significant difference between the intervention and comparison groups for practices – the change in practice scores was significantly higher in the intervention group as compared to the comparison group. The intervention group demonstrated a statistically significant improvement over the comparison group in terms of improved injury prevention practices four months after receiving the intervention.
This study has demonstrated that the Give Your Child a Safe Start educational resource is effective in improving parental injury prevention practices with regards to infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Parental and caregiver practices are a key factor in the prevention of unintentional childhood injuries. Give Your Child a Safe Start is an effective public health tool to promote parental and caregiver injury prevention practices for children 0 to 5 years of age. This evaluation study supports the use of the Give your Child a Safe Start educational public health tool to reduce injury among children ages 0 to 5 years of age.