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Safe children community: does it work? A comparison of child injury data in the district of Deutschlandsberg documents evidence
  1. Spitzer Peter,
  2. Brandmayr Gudula,
  3. Distl Sabine
  1. Grosse Schützen Kleine/Safe Kids Austria, Auenbruggerplatz 49, Graz 8036, Austria Contact e-mail:


    Background In 2007 Grosse schuetzen Kleine/Safe Kids Austria introduced a broad Safe Children Community Programme in the district of Deutschlandsberg (comprises 39 communities with 60.000 inhabitants, 9.500 children aged 14 and under). At this time 2.219 child injuries occurred annually in this region. This number corresponds with an injury rate of 248 per 1.000 children per year.

    Aims/Objectives/Purpose The aim was to find a framework to evaluate the effect of a safe community work focused on child safety and to implement the key factors in a systematically work process.

    Methods Children who sustain an injury in the district of Deutschlandsberg are mostly treated in the local hospital or by the general practitioner. Severe cases are referred to the Children's Trauma centre in the capital city of Graz. By collecting and analysing all data available from these sources 95% of all injuries which required medical treatment could be covered in the study. The same data analysis has been done in a control district of the same size and distribution of population in order to show evidence after the intervention period.

    Results/Outcome After 5 years of intervention the preventative work shows substantial effects that relate to a multi-level prevention programme. The number of injuries to children dropped by 16% related to absolute cases. The injury rate declined by 7%.

    Significance/Contribution to the Field With the Safe Children Community project Grosse schuetzen Kleine/Safe Kids Austria wanted to supply evidence that the Indicators for Safe Children Communities make a difference when followed accordingly. Accompanying the programme with a comprehensive data surveillance in the intervention and the non-intervention district helped to bring this evidence forward.

    It is very important to involve a hospital in safe community work for evaluating and documenting the success of such a project.

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