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  1. Jan Shield
  1. Royal Children's Hospital Safety Centre, Melbourne

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Determinants of parent and child safety behaviour

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Just how do parents teach safety behaviour and how do children learn it? Why do they have differing perceptions of what is safe and unsafe? And what do parents base their teaching on? A Swedish study of the safety behaviours of 870 mothers of children aged 3, 4 and 9 years, found that they derived safety behaviours from their own relatives and friends, not from child health or school nurses. Part of the problem was that the information given by professionals was “standardised” rather than being tailored to individual family needs. Injury prevention programs need to work much more within the context of familie's lives, as many of the community safety programs do, supplemented by strategies to alter social norms in the long term (OpenUrlCrossRefPubMedWeb of Science). Another study gleaned infor-mationfrom the maltreatment literature to learn more about the processes of training children in safety, arguing that the limited environmental modification approach to injury prevention does not aid our understanding of how children actually learn to negotiate their world safely. Par-ent's safety practices and teaching of safety rules to children have been little researched, …

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