Background Unintentional injury is the leading cause of preventable death in children in the UK, and 0–4-year-olds frequently attend emergency departments following injuries in the home. Parenting programmes designed to support parents, promote behaviour change and enhance parent–child relationships have been shown to improve health outcomes in children. It is not known whether group-based parenting programmes have the potential to prevent unintentional injuries in preschool children.
Methods A study to develop a group-based parenting programme to prevent unintentional home injuries in preschool children, and assess the feasibility of evaluation through a cluster-randomised controlled trial. The intervention, designed for parents of children who have sustained a medically attended injury, will be developed with two voluntary sector organisations. The feasibility study will assess ability to recruit parents, deliver the programme and follow-up participants. Participants will complete questionnaires at baseline, 3 months and 6 months, and report injuries in their preschool children using a tool designed and validated for this study. Qualitative methods will assess user and deliverer perceptions of the programme.
Discussion This study will develop the first group-based parenting programme to prevent injuries in preschool children, and design tools for parent-reported injury outcomes. A key challenge will be to recruit parents to participate in a manner that is non-stigmatising, and does not result in feelings of guilt or belief that they are perceived to be a bad parent. The findings will be used to prepare a trial to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the intervention.
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