Article

Home Safety and Low-Income Urban Housing Quality

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 11/2012; 130(6). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-1531
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Objectives:
Living in substandard housing may be one factor that increases the risk of fire and burn injuries in low-income urban environments. The purposes of this study are to (1) describe the frequency and characteristics of substandard housing in urban homes with young children and (2) explore the hypothesis that better housing quality is associated with a greater likelihood of having working smoke alarms and safe hot water temperatures.

Methods:
A total 246 caregivers of children ages 0 to 7 years were recruited from a pediatric emergency department and a well-child clinic. In-home observations were completed by using 46 items from the Housing and Urban Development's Housing Quality Standards.

Results:
Virtually all homes (99%) failed the housing quality measure. Items with the highest failure rates were those related to heating and cooling; walls, ceilings, and floors; and sanitation and safety domains. One working smoke alarm was observed in 82% of the homes, 42% had 1 on every level, and 62% had safe hot water temperatures. For every increase of 1 item in the number of housing quality items passed, the odds of having any working smoke alarm increased by 10%, the odds of having 1 on every level by 18%, and the odds of having safe hot water temperatures by 8%.

Conclusions:
Many children may be at heightened risk for fire and scald burns by virtue of their home environment. Stronger collaboration between housing, health care, and injury prevention professionals is urgently needed to maximize opportunities to improve home safety.

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    • "level, bathrooms, and certain furniture (Mack, Gilchrist, & Ballesteros, 2008; McDonald, Girasek, & Gielen, 2012). Beds have been identified as the leading product involved in injuries in infants, and as the leading product in the percentage of nonfatal home injury costs for children under 5 years of age (Mack, Gilchrist, & Ballesteros, 2007; Zaloshnja, Miller, Lawrence, & Romano, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Injuries continue to be the leading cause of death for the first four decades of life. These injuries result from a confluence of behavioral, physical, structural, environmental, and social factors. Taken together, these illustrate the importance of taking a broad and multileveled approach to injury prevention. Using examples from fall, fire, scald, and poisoning-related injuries, this article illustrates the utility of an approach that incorporates a social-environmental perspective in identifying and selecting interventions to improve the health and safety of individuals. Injury prevention efforts to prevent home injuries benefit from multilevel modifications of behavior, public policy, laws and enforcement, the environment, consumer products and engineering standards, as demonstrated with Frieden's Health Impact Pyramid. A greater understanding, however, is needed to explain the associations between tiers. While interventions that include modifications of the social environment are being field-tested, much more work needs to be done in measuring social-environmental change and in evaluating these programs to disentangle what works best. © 2015 Society for Public Health Education.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Health Education & Behavior
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    • "level, bathrooms, and certain furniture (Mack, Gilchrist, & Ballesteros, 2008; McDonald, Girasek, & Gielen, 2012). Beds have been identified as the leading product involved in injuries in infants, and as the leading product in the percentage of nonfatal home injury costs for children under 5 years of age (Mack, Gilchrist, & Ballesteros, 2007; Zaloshnja, Miller, Lawrence, & Romano, 2005). "

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    • "In the first of three studies on HFS from the injury prevention group at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Gielen and colleagues in 246 caregivers (76% single, n = 186 and 93% mothers, n = 229), who were unemployed (50%, n = 123), had high school educations (56%, n = 138), with incomes $5000 (69%, n = 161) and were recruited from emergency departments and well child clinics [5]. Mothers described their children as being male (54%, n = 133), and averaging 2.5 years of age. "
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