Background Despite increasing knowledge about the burden of unintentional injury among Australian Aboriginal children there is a lack of effective programs targeting Aboriginal children and families. Moreover, little is known about how Aboriginal people engage in child injury prevention programs. Research was conducted to inform the development of guidelines for effective injury prevention approaches targeting injury among Aboriginal children. We also worked closely with investigators on an Australian version of guidelines modelled from the European Child Safety Alliance.
Methods In a staged process we conducted: (a) a review of effective injury prevention programs targeting Australian Aboriginal children; (b) qualitative research with practitioners and Aboriginal community members to explore attitudes to the prevention of injury and behaviours and perceptions of risk; (c) round table discussions with Aboriginal community members, injury practitioners and policy makers.
Results A series of case studies of effective programs was developed. The project adopted a “best buys” approach to identifying programs with the most promise to address the burden of Aboriginal child injury; this was matched with community views and preferences about acceptable and appropriate programs and strategies. Guidelines also incorporated principles for successful engagement with Aboriginal communities including how to work with Aboriginal children and families when developing programs for unintentional injury prevention and the most appropriate methods for their evaluation.
Conclusions The guidelines are expected to inform the development of policies and programs targeting child injury in the Aboriginal population in New South Wales. They will contribute to ensuring that the efforts and resources of policy makers and practitioners are based on the views and experiences of Aboriginal communities and raise awareness within the Aboriginal community by informing the further development of social marketing campaign around injury prevention.
- child injury
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