Statement of purpose This paper reports the effectiveness of the scald prevention intervention on knowledge, self reported prevention behaviours and observed home water temperature.
Methods/approach Safe Start is a three-group randomised controlled trial comparing a scald prevention intervention delivered by health education staff (Intervention Group, IG) as part of the 2 week well child visit (WCV) and an attention-matched control group (Control Group, CG) that received a safe sleep prevention intervention, and a standard of care group (Standard of Care Group, SG). A baseline survey was completed in the clinic at the 2 week WCV; follow up surveys were completed in the home at 4–6 weeks.
Results 149 participants were enrolled and completed a follow-up interview. The typical participant was a 26 year old African American (90%) mother living in a rental property (87%) receiving medical assistance (80%) with at least a high school education (58%). Compared to the attention matched control and standard of care groups, the intervention group demonstrated increased knowledge on 5 of 9 individual scald risk items and the overall knowledge score (74% (IG)vs. 48%–46%) correct, p=0.00). The IG parents were more likely to report water heater testing behaviour (45% (IG) vs. 11%–7%, p=0.00), and bath thermometer usage (82% (IG) vs. 17% and 8,% p=0.00), Differences were not found between group on home water temperatures.
Significance Implementing this intervention is a promising way to reduce the risk of scald burns to infants primarily through increased knowledge and self reported testing behaviours of bath water. Future work needs to focus on barriers to changing the hot water temperature at the water heater, given that 51% of participants in our group had unsafe water temperatures at follow-up.