Childhood unintentional injuries: the perceived impact of the environment, lack of supervision and child characteristics

Child Care Health Dev. 2006 May;32(3):269-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2006.00593.x.


Background: Investigations into the context and causation of injury, including injury risks, are an essential part of the injury prevention knowledge base. Caregiver perceptions of childhood injury risks may assist in the design of safety interventions and influence the way in which an intervention is received within a community.

Methods: Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted in two low-income neighbourhoods in South Africa to collect information on caregiver perceptions of injury risks. The data were analysed via thematic content analysis.

Results: The results revealed that injury risks are perceived as multifaceted and as contributing synergistically to an injury event. Parents of children also tended to attribute most risks to the environment instead of individual action.

Conclusions: Interventions including passive strategies and less activity from the parent may be welcomed in communities. Attention should be given to child injury prevention methods specifically for low-income contexts.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Burns / etiology
  • Burns / prevention & control
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child Development
  • Female
  • Heating / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Middle Aged
  • Parenting*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Poisoning / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control