Aims: To examine the effects of the home environment on unintentional domestic injuries and related health care attendance in infants from deprived families.
Methods: Ten mechanisms that caused unintentional domestic injury during the first year were investigated in a population-based study of 1-year-old children in southern Brazil. Odds ratios of injury-related health care attendance were estimated by number of injury mechanisms reported. Variation in number of mechanisms (in the whole sample) and odds ratios of care attendance (in children with reported injuries) were estimated for socioeconomic and psychosocial variables.
Results: Among all children (394) 86% had injuries; 10.9% care attendance and 0.5% hospitalisation were reported, and 14.5% presented dental trauma. Injury-related care attendance increased with the number of injury mechanisms (linear trend OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.09-1.66). In multivariable linear regression, injury mechanisms increased with the number of home hazards (p = 0.047) and decreased with duration of exclusive breastfeeding (p = 0.039), maternal involvement-responsiveness (p = 0.037) and mother's paid work (p = 0.018). Injury-related health care attendance among children with reported injuries was positively associated with maternal involvement-responsiveness (OR = 2.27, 95% CI = 1.11-4.67) and home organization (OR = 2.25, 95% CI = 1.09-4.65).
Conclusion: Injury control can benefit from policy and practice that improve housing, reduce home hazards and promote breastfeeding, maternal bonds, safety practices and injury care.