Background Parental perception of safe and risk-free environment is critical in the prevention of unintentional childhood injury. An accurate perception of risky situations is essential to minimise the rate of childhood injuries. Knowledge on parental perception in rural India will be helpful in planning preventive strategies. This study was conducted to assess parental perception on risks and hazards leading to unintentional childhood injuries.
Methods A cross sectional study was conducted in 13 clusters of a rural block in South India. Double stage cluster sampling method was used to recruit 100 mothers and they were interviewed using a tool developed by Glik and Kronenfeld. Two FGDs were also conducted.
Results Mothers’ perception of likelihood of injury from hazards such as household door and drawers, small toys, plastic bags and cribs was poor. These objects were also perceived as less dangerous hazards. Mothers had a poor perception of injury by entrapment in refrigerators, choking and strangulation by a rope or a cord. Choking bruises, puncture wounds were perceived as less serious events. Age, education and literacy were found to be significant predictors of perception of risk and hazard in univariate analysis, the logistic regression model did not show any significant associated factors for perception of risk and hazard. 9% of mothers believed injuries can be completely prevented and illiteracy (p = 0.04) was associated with poor perception on prevention in univariate analysis. Few mothers in FGD believed that injuries cannot be prevented as it is natural (Vidhi) for children to sustain injuries.
Conclusions It is a fact that the mother’s literacy and schooling is closely related to child health and survival. Promotion of injury preventive engineering strategies and enforcement will only be effective when the literacy of the mother increases. Health education can improve maternal perception and have a positive impact on prevention of unintentional injuries.
- Unintentional childhood injuries
- risk and hazards
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