Background: The objective of the current study was to evaluate outcomes of a program to prevent severe and less severe unintentional child injuries among the different social strata under WHO Safe Community program. Specifically, the aim was to study effectiveness of Safe Community program for reducing child injury.
Methods: A quasi-experimental design was used, with pre- and post-implementation registrations covering the children (0 -15 years) in the program implementation area (population 41,000) and in a neighboring control municipality (population 26,000) in Ostergotland County, Sweden.
Results: Boys from not vocationally active households displayed the highest pre-intervention injury rate in both the control and intervention areas. Also in households in which the vocationally significant member was employed, boys showed higher injury rates than girls. Households in which the vocationally significant member was self-employed, girls exhibited higher injury rates than boys in the intervention area. After 6 years of program activity, the injury rates for boys and girls in employed category and injury rates for girls in self-employed category displayed a decreasing trend in the intervention area. However, in the control area injury rate decreased only for boys of employed families.
Conclusions: The study indicated that almost no changes in injury rates in the control area suggested that the reduction of child injuries in the intervention area between 1983 and 1989 was likely to be attributable to the safety promotion program. Therefore, the current study indicates that Safe Community program seems to be successful for reducing child injuries.