Statement of Purpose Falls are the leading cause of ER visits for nonfatal injuries, with approximately 40% of injuries sustained in toddlers. The aim of this study is to better understand the impact socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity have on preventable falls in children so as to better target injury prevention program initiatives.
Methods/Approach Interviews were conducted using a modified fall-related safety questionnaire to parents of children under the age of 3 (n=40) on the medical/surgical in-patient floor of a Level 1 Trauma Center.
Results Overall, 50% of children sustained a fall-related injury (most commonly falling from a bed or walking), with 65% of those children on Medicaid. In addition, 38% of parents (47% Hispanic and 20% Black) reported leaving their child alone on a bed without a railing. Nearly 33% of parents (46% of which have a high school diploma or less) reported not using safety guards on all windows. Parents reported not using stair gates 48% of the time, with 55% of those parents having completed less than a Bachelor’s Degree. Also, 67% of parents (all on Medicaid) reported their child wore a helmet ‘sometimes’ or ‘never’ while riding a bicycle. Even though 79% of parents ‘strongly agreed’ to having the knowledge to protect their child from being injured by a fall, 63% of parents reported ‘sometimes’ or ‘rarely’ watching their child when on playground equipment.
Conclusion Certain populations may be less likely to understand the importance of injury prevention. The relationship of socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, parental safety measures, and preventable injuries should be further studied in order to better focus injury prevention efforts and make the most impact on specific populations.
Significance This study adds to the field of injury prevention by providing a possible population to target injury prevention efforts and to ultimately, improve patient outcomes.
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