A community-based study of parents' knowledge, attitudes and beliefs related to childhood injuries
This study assessed parents' knowledge of injury risks for children, attitudes within children's injury-risk behaviours, and beliefs related to a number of aspects of childhood injuries. Parents completed questionnaires and participated in discussions using scenarios depicting child-injury situations that involved a parent and child. Results indicated that parents view injuries largely as a natural consequence of childhood and they believe children learn about risk avoidance from injury experiences. Parents' responses did not indicate a strong belief that injuries to children are preventable or that they should assume primary responsibility for preventing injuries to children. Parents readily identified potential injury consequences and alternative behaviours but provided a number of rationales for making choices that place their child at injury risk: explanations related to convenience, minimizing stress, placing their own goals as a priority, and believing they can keep the child safe in a hazardous situation. Injury prevention programming that targets parents needs to focus on increasing awareness of the scope of the problem and altering attitudes and beliefs related to prevention.
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