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100 Establishing the effectiveness of a storybook for teaching home safety to preschool children
  1. Barbara Morrongiello
  1. University of Guelph – Canada


Statement of Purpose Unintentional injuries are a serious concern for young children, frequently resulting in disability and death. Safety interventions that target the child as an agent of change are needed, particularly because parents cannot constantly supervise. The present study examined whether a storybook can educate about home hazards and reduce the hazard-directed risk behaviours of children aged 3.5 to 5.5 years.

Methods Preschoolers were randomly assigned to the control condition (a storybook about healthy eating) or the intervention condition (a storybook about home hazards) and were required to read the assigned storybook with their mother for four weeks.

Results Comparing children’s pre- and post-intervention knowledge and risk behaviours indicated that children in the intervention condition were able to identify more hazards, provide more comprehensive explanations, and demonstrate less risky behaviours, in comparison to those in the control group. Hence, the storybook improved both safety knowledge and behaviors.

Conclusion Together, the findings suggest that a storybook can be an effective resource in educating young children about home safety and promoting safety practices that are likely to reduce risk of injury.

Significance The findings indicate that engaging children in reading a storybook about home hazards with their parents can not only increase their knowledge but also reduce their hazard-directed risk behaviors at home.

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