Falls from playground equipment during play are a leading cause of injury for elementary school children. Changes to playground design and surfacing materials can reduce injury risk. However, there is also a need for intervention programs to reduce risky play behaviors by children that are associated with falls. The Cool 2 Be Safe program was developed based on past research that identified effective strategies for targeting injury beliefs that predict risk behaviors on playgrounds among individually tested elementary school children. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of delivering these activities as an integrated program and in a group format in after school programs organized by Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. The clubs were provided all program and extensive training materials, and a webinar training session was conducted for facilitators. Observations of sessions provided data on fidelity of program delivery. Pre- and post-intervention data assessing children’s injury beliefs were collected via survey, with children participating in four structured activity sessions in small groups between premeasures and post-measures. The training materials proved to be quite effective; observational data indicated 88 % compliance with the procedures. Comparing children’s pre- and post-responses revealed positive changes in injury-risk beliefs that have been shown to predict reduced risk taking on playgrounds. This initial evaluation suggests that the Cool 2 Be Safe community program holds much promise as a means for addressing the issue of fall-risk behaviors by elementary school children on playgrounds.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 12, 2014
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