PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine how injury prevention awareness of children ages 3, 4, and 5, based on recognition of hazards in pictures differs in the United States, Belgium, East Germany and West Germany. METHODS: Children from these four countries were presented with 10 different pictures. Each picture represented a common injury producing situation to which children are exposed in traffic, home, and recreation. RESULTS: Results indicate that for pictures relating to home hazards, less than 22% of children from Belgium (21.5%), West Germany (4.7%), and the United States (20.3%) clearly recognized the essential hazards in the pictures, whereas over 40% of the East German children clearly recognized these dangers. A higher proportion of the children from all countries recognized the traffic hazards. Only 23.9% of all children had a clear recognition of the playground situations. The child's age had a bearing on ability to recognize hazards overall. CONCLUSIONS: Children need to be provided with better injury prevention education at an early age, especially those from West Germany.
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