Background Children are particularly vulnerable to experience unintentional injuries (UI) given their physical constitution and cognitive abilities. They live in a world built for young adults assuming they have the same information and will behave similarly. Different day-to-day factors that do not represent any risk to adults might endanger children’s wellbeing. Although UI occur most frequently at home, daycare centers is another common place of occurrence. For that reason, the Ministry of Health is promoting safety inspections of daycares as part of a new national program on injury prevention.
Objective To identify main risk factors of UI in different daycares in Mexico, during 2016–2017.
Methods From November-2016 to December-2017, a convenience sample of 184 daycare centers from 43 municipalities was employed to pilot-test a checklist developed to identify main risk factors of unintentional drownings, asphyxias, falls, poisoning and burns in these settings. Observers were trained by one national responsible. After filling out the form, specific counseling was provided to responsible, based on main findings. Daycares had an average of 10 years functioning, provided assistance to 60 children and 8 persons were responsible of their care (from which 84% have first-aid training).
Results In average daycares have three risk factors (range=0–11); 91.84% have at least one risk factor. Risks of falls from one level to another were present in 15.76%, while 38.04% have different risks that might threaten breathing in children. Any risk of drowning was documented in 42.39%; 60.32% had at least one risk for burns; and 72.28% presented risks of poisoning in children.
Conclusions Safety in daycare centers is a poorly documented area in Mexico. Risks of UI are more common than expected, particularly those of poisoning. Our pilot-results support the need of implementing a national program to inspect and reduce the presence of UI risks in these places.
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