Approaches used by parents to keep their children safe at home: a qualitative study to explore the perspectives of parents with children aged under five years

Ablewhite, Joanne and McDaid, Lisa and Hawkins, Adrian and Peel, Isabel and Goodenough, Trudy and Deave, Toity and Stewart, Jane and Watson, Michael and Kendrick, Denise (2015) Approaches used by parents to keep their children safe at home: a qualitative study to explore the perspectives of parents with children aged under five years. BMC Public Health, 15 (983). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1471-2458

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Childhood unintentional injury represents an important global health problem. Many unintentional injuries experienced by children aged under 5years occur within the home and are preventable. The aim of this study was to explore the approaches used by parents of children under five in order to help prevent unintentional injuries in the home and the factors which influence their use. Understanding how parents approach risk-management in the home has important implications for injury practitioners.

METHODS: A multi-centre qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. A thematic approach was used to analyse the data. Sixty five parents of children aged under 5years, from four study areas were interviewed: Bristol, Newcastle, Norwich and Nottingham.

RESULTS: Three main injury prevention strategies used by parents were: a) Environmental such as removal of hazards, and use of safety equipment; b) parental supervision; and c) teaching, for example, teaching children about safety and use of rules and routine. Strategies were often used in combination due to their individual limitations. Parental assessment of injury risk, use of strategy and perceived effectiveness were fluid processes dependent on a child's character, developmental age and the prior experiences of both parent and child. Some parents were more proactive in their approach to home safety while others only reacted if their child demonstrated an interest in a particular object or activity perceived as being an injury risk.

CONCLUSION: Parents' injury prevention practices encompass a range of strategies that are fluid in line with the child's age and stage of development; however, parents report that they still find it challenging to decide which strategy to use and when.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Child safety, Child injury prevention, Safety strategies, Qualitative
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Primary Care
University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-2252-x
Depositing User: McCambridge, Mrs April
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2015 11:49
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 16:13
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/30528

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