Background: Community-based models for injury prevention have become an accepted part of the overall injury control strategy. This systematic review of the scientific literature examines the evidence for their effectiveness in reducing pedestrian injury in children 0-14 years of age.
Methods: A comprehensive search of the literature was performed using the following study selection criteria: community-based intervention study; target population was children under 14 years; outcome measure is either pedestrian injury rates or observed child pedestrian or vehicle driver behaviour; and use of a community control or an historical control in the study design. Quality assessment and data abstraction was guided by a standardized procedure and performed independently by two authors. Data synthesis was in tabular and text form with meta-analysis not being possible due to the discrepancy in methods and measures between the studies.
Results: The review found four studies that met all the inclusion criteria. The three studies using injury as their outcome measure found a 12%, 45% and 54% reduction for all childhood injuries with the fourth showing improved traffic control at child pedestrian sites (9% reduction in traffic flow) and sustainable community safety promotion activity.
Conclusion: There is a paucity of research studies in the literature from which evidence regarding the effectiveness of community-based programmes for the prevention of pedestrian injury in children can be drawn. However, the hypothesis that community-based interventions are effective in reducing the incidence of childhood pedestrian injury would appear to be supported, with the degree of success being cumulative depending on the complexity of individual strategies employed.