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26 Writing a popular book for child injury prevention: process and outcomes
  1. David C Schwebel
  1. University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, USA


Context Injury remains the leading cause of child mortality in most high- and middle-income countries. Despite burgeoning impact from the internet and social media, over 18.5 million self-help books are sold annually (NPD Group, 2022). Statista data suggest annual print book sales are increasing in the USA. To date, no comprehensive science-based self-help parenting book guides parents toward child injury prevention.

Process I wrote a book to help parents learn science-based strategies to reduce child injury risk. Grounded in health behavior change and child development theories, the book uses a fun and engaging tone to introduce TAMS, a behavior change model: T, teach children safety; A, act to promote and retain safety; M, model safe behavior for children to learn; and S, shape children’s behavior to make safe decisions. Chapters are devoted to safety at particular child development stages (infancy, toddler, etc.) and particular contextual settings (e.g., sports, with grandparents). Real-life anecdotes impact peer norms, helping readers identify with characters and influencing perceived vulnerability/susceptibility to child injury risk. Ultimately, the book promotes a household culture of safety.

Outcomes The book, Raising kids who choose safety: The TAMS method for child accident prevention, was published by Chicago Review Press in September 2022. Dissemination efforts are ongoing to reach readers who would benefit from the book.

Learning Outcomes A popular book represents one more technique in our injury prevention arsenal, offering an additional strategy that we preventionists can use to reimagine and reinvent injury prevention strategies and promote global safety and health.

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