Purpose To explore a new method to promote parents' perceptions of susceptibility and severity of childhood injury.
Method We formulated two hypotheses: (1) Showing an internal phenomenon that is not visible from outside such as bleeding within the brain can effectively increase parents' severity perception, and (2) The fact that an injury occurred in one's on local community makes one be convinced that an injury could occur to one's child and promotes parents' perceived susceptibility. We developed animations that show the process of occurrence of internal injuries. Animations depicted: traumatic brain injury by falling from a bicycle, oesophageal erosion by swallowing a button battery, choking of cherry tomato, and choking of peanuts. To increase perceived susceptibility, we indicated the city name where participants reside on top of animations. Eighty-six mothers who have at least one child aged under 6-year-old participated and were assigned to one of four groups: (group 1) Internal+City, (group 2) No Internal+City, (group 3) Internal+No City, and (group 4) No Internal+No City.
Results When we compared ‘Internal group’ (group 1 and 3 combined) to ‘No internal group’ (group 2 and 4 combined), Internal group had higher severity perception than No internal group in the case of brain injury (p=0.012). The differences were not statistically significant but adverse effects were found in other types of injuries. When compared groups 1–3, group 1 had superiority in perceptions of severity and susceptibility in all animations.
Conclusion Combination of animation with an internal phenomenon and a city name is effective in promoting mothers' risk perception for injury.
Screenshots of animations that show the process of occurrence of internal injuries