Home injuries are a leading cause of mortality and morbidity for young children. Most programs that aim to improve their knowledge of home safety have been narrowly focused on one injury type and/or required specialized personnel for delivery. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a new Safety Detective Program that was designed to teach young children (4–6 years) about several types of home safety hazards and unsafe behaviors, with the program delivered in a classroom setting by non-experts based on manualized training. The current study used a randomized group, pre-post design to evaluate the effectiveness of the program to increase children’s knowledge and understanding of home safety hazards and injury-risk behaviors to avoid. Children participated in six structured sessions, covering burns, falls, drowning, and poisoning. Each session involved play-based activities (storybook, song, and game or craft) to teach main messages about hazards and injury-risk behaviors, a take home activity, and a parent information sheet about the injury type covered that day. An individually administered photo-sort task with follow-up interview was used to measure intervention and control group participants’ knowledge and understanding of injury-risk behaviors before and after program delivery. Children in the intervention, but not the control, group exhibited significant gains in their knowledge and understanding of home safety hazards and injury-risk behaviors to avoid, establishing the effectiveness of the program. This evaluation indicates that the Safety Detective Program can be delivered in classrooms without requiring specialized personnel or extensive training and with positive changes obtained. The program holds much promise as a means of improving kindergarten children’s understanding of a broad range of home hazards and injury-risk behaviors that are relevant to their safety.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 6, 2015
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