Parents often underestimate their children's susceptibility to unintentional injuries, which may lead to non-use of prevention measures. To correct this perception, we exposed parents of small children to computer-generated short animations of five typical injurious situations in Japanese home environments and information about injury susceptibility and severity. Animations depicted: falling from a chair; electrical shock at an outlet; bathtub drowning; accidental ingestion of a button battery; and thermal injury by a rice cooker. Animations were created based on injury surveillance data, and motion capture data and body size data of average Japanese children. A total of 91 parents, including seven males, with children between 0.5 and 2 years old participated in the study through the Internet. (There were no statistically significant differences between genders in responses.) Half of the participants (n=44) watched only the five animations (Animation-only). The other half (n=47) watched the five animations and information about injury susceptibility and severity (animation + information). No difference was observed between the two groups in perception toward severity of injuries. However, the Animation + information group perceived their own children's susceptibility to the injuries higher than the Animation-only group, and the differences between the two groups were statistically significant in three of the five situations; fall, thermal injury, and drowning. Results suggest that animation is useful to get parents attention to childhood injury and severity by showing the moment of injury; however, adding information about injury consequences may be more effective in increasing parental feelings of injury susceptibility of own children.
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