Objective The purpose of this project is to provide injury prevention education to first-time parents of infants less than 6 months of age in a baby safety shower format and to evaluate the effectiveness of this format in knowledge retention.
Methods Participants included first-time parents either in pregnancy or with a child less than 6 months of age. Participants completed an information form that included questions about potential risk factors for injuries. Each participant was given a pretest to determine the basic knowledge of childhood safety information and received a bath thermometer, toilet lock, outlet covers, cabinet locks, door knob covers, and a car seat. Medical health care professionals presented brief lectures on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, crib safety and sudden infant death syndrome, toy safety, choking hazards, water safety, smoke detectors, poisonings, stress management and shaken baby syndrome, firearm safety, and car seats. A follow-up (post-test) telephone call was made 1 month after the shower. Analysis of the most frequent questions missed on the pretest was compared with the percent correct increase of the same questions on the post-test, using the z-test of proportions.
Results A total of 24 caregivers participated in two separate baby safety showers. Of the 24 pretests, the most common question missed was the temperature that a water heater should be set to prevent scalding. Only 50% answered this question correctly. However, 83% correctly responded on the post-test (z = 1.50, p = .12). The second most incorrectly answered question was about the safe positioning of infants during sleep. Seventy-one percent answered this question correctly on the pretest. This same question on the post-test was answered 100% correctly (z = 1.63, p = .10). Seventy-one percent of participants believed that it is safe for an infant to sleep in the bed with an adult on the pretest compared with the post-test, in which all of the participants answered this statement to be false. All of the participants believed that smoking around infants is harmful on the pretest and post-test. There was a 50% response rate for the post-test.
Conclusion Caregivers can learn important safety information about childhood injury prevention in a baby safety shower format. Individual questions demonstrated 33% and 29% improvements in the knowledge of safety water temperature and sleeping positions, respectively (although attrition during post-testing reduced statistical power below our planned detection limits). We believe that the baby shower format is an effective educational intervention.
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