OBJECTIVES: This pilot study evaluates the effectiveness of a community based childhood injury prevention program on the reduction of home hazards. METHODS: High risk pregnant women, who were enrolled in a home visiting program that augments existing health and human services, received initial home safety assessments. Clients received education about injury prevention practices, in addition to receiving selected home safety supplies. Fourteen questions from the initial assessment tool were repeated upon discharge from the program. Matched analyses were conducted to evaluate differences from initial assessment to discharge. RESULTS: A significantly larger proportion of homes were assessed as safe at discharge, compared with the initial assessment, for the following hazards: children riding unbuckled in all auto travel, Massachusetts Poison Center sticker on the telephone, outlet plugs in all unused electrical outlets, safety latches on cabinets and drawers, and syrup of ipecac in the home. CONCLUSIONS: A community based childhood injury prevention program providing education and safety supplies to clients significantly reduced four home hazards for which safety supplies were provided. Education and promotion of the proper use of child restraint systems in automobiles significantly reduced a fifth hazard, children riding unbuckled in auto travel. This program appears to reduce the prevalence of home hazards and, therefore, to increase home safety.
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