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Information through television: does it promote child safety?
  1. C. Sundelin,
  2. F. Rasmussen,
  3. R. Berfenstam,
  4. K. Troedsson
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Uppsala University, Sweden.


    OBJECTIVES: First, to evaluate whether a local campaign to prevent childhood injuries increased parents' inclination to follow eight television programmes broadcast nationwide, and second, to assess whether parents reached by a local campaign benefitted more from the television programmes than those not reached by the campaign. METHODS: Before the television programmes were broadcast, all families with preschool children living in a typical Swedish municipality (the intervention area) received a letter from the head of the child health services encouraging them to watch the programmes. The local campaign also included face-to-face information and advice on childhood injuries at all day care centres and child health centres in the intervention area. After all the programmes had been broadcast, telephone interviews were conducted with one parent from 77% of all 1699 households with at least one preschool child in the intervention area, and with 87% of a random sample of 144 parents from other, similar municipalities. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The local campaign increased parents' inclination to follow the programmes. No significant association was found, however, between the number of programmes followed and measures undertaken in the homes as a direct consequence of the programmes. Nor was a significant association found between the number of programmes viewed and parents' attitudes towards risks. A local campaign may increase parents' awareness of information provided by the mass media on childhood injuries.

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