Article Text

  1. J Ammons,
  2. K Monroe,
  3. M. H. Nichols,
  4. W. D. King,
  5. V. E. Gorshin,
  6. L. Beisher
  1. University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL


Background Each year an injury prevention fair is held in a neighborhood with high rates of injuries. This study assesses change between year 1 and 2.

Methods Safety surveys were conducted (with parents) at the annual health fair hosted by the local health department and Injury Free Coalition for Kids (IKCK). IFCK provided education and demonstration booths and conducted the survey. The 2004 and 2005 results were compared to assess change subsequent to educational and awareness projects provided during the year. Data were entered into Excel. The z test of proportions was used to evaluate changes in rates of practicing selected preventive behaviors.

Results 150 families participated in 2004 and 95 families participated in 2005. Of those families in 2005, 40% had attended the previous year. Bicycle Safety: Bike helmet ownership increased from 34% to 58% from 2004 to 2005 (respectively), z = 3.56, p < .001. Routine use of the helmets increased from 30% to 84% (2004 vs 2005, respectively), z = 8.11, p < .0001. Poison Awareness: A higher percentage of respondents stated they would call the poison center hotline in the event of ingestion (6% in 2004 vs 26% in 2005), respectively, z = 3.79, p < .001. Car Seat Usage: Car seat usage from 2004 to 2005 among children under 4 years did not change significantly (78.7% vs 83.7%, respectively), z = 0.39, p = .70. Booster seat use was reported to have declined significantly from 2004 to 2005 (54.8% vs 25.8%, respectively), z = 23.33, p < .001. Fire Safety: No significant changes occurred in smoke detector ownership (92% vs 95%), z = 0.65, p = .52. Lower rates of having a home fire exit plan were observed for 2005 (86% vs 72%), z = 22.53, p = .01. Although an increase in actual practice of a home fire exit plan was reported, it did not reach statistical significance (62% vs 68%), z = 0.82, p = .41.

Conclusions While data regarding fire safety were similar, there was a significant improvement in bicycle safety and poison awareness. In addition to a larger percentage of children with bicycle helmets, an even larger percentage were wearing them. Poison center hotline awareness had increased significantly, although at 26% it is still very low. Car seat usage had increased to 83.7%, while booster seat usage was reported to have declined. Car seat usage education and loaner/voucher programs are needed as a component of local health care. Area health fairs appear to be helpful in identifying injury prevention deficits as well as evaluating changes in knowledge and behavior. Such surveys are also helpful in planning interventional components to local area preventive health care.

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