Background In Nepal, an estimated 2.5% children suffer a non-fatal injury each year severe enough to keep them away from their usual activities for 3 or more days, and injuries are thought to comprise 34% of morbidity among children 1–17 years. Despite this, the impacts of injuries appear poorly understood. Children’s vulnerability to injuries is closely associated with spatial, societal, infrastructure and traditional factors. This study aimed to explore what actions the parents/carers of injured children undertook following their child’s injury.
Method Data were collected from a household survey in Makwanpur district; parents whose children had experienced an injury in the previous 12 months were asked an open-ended free text question, ‘What have you done to prevent injuries in the future?’
Results Survey responses indicated that 193 children from 181 households were injured over 1 year. 41.4% household reported they had not instigated any prevention measures. Of 58.6% households applying any prevention measures, most (n=69, 65%) were limited to verbal advice or warning to children to avoid the injury in future. Sixteen (15%) parents increased their children’s supervision and only 8 (7.5%) reported some environmental changes they had done to prevent recurrence of injury in future. So overall, only 4% of the parents of injured children applied active preventive measure.
Conclusions These data suggest that parents do not routinely act to reduce the risk of further injuries after their child is injured. This was the first time these parents/carers had been asked to consider their actions following an injury to a child. No prior studies or interventions had raised their awareness of injury prevention.
Policy implications Families should be empowered to act to prevent injuries in their children, through awareness raising and addressing barriers to action.