Parent-Child Injury Prevention Conversations Following a Trip to the Emergency Department

J Pediatr Psychol. 2016 Mar;41(2):256-64. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsv070. Epub 2015 Aug 13.


Objectives: The goal of the study was to examine how parents use conversation to promote the internalization of safety values after their child has been seriously injured.

Methods: Parent interviews detailing postinjury conversations were coded for strategies mentioned to prevent injuries in the future and information about circumstances surrounding the injury.

Results: Logistic regression analyses revealed that parents were more likely to discuss why an activity was dangerous with older than younger children, and were more likely to urge daughters than sons to be more careful in the future. Injuries resulting from the presence of environmental hazards predicted parents telling children to be more careful in the future. Having others involved predicted parents urging children not to engage in the behavior again.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that parents modulated strategies according to age, gender, and injury circumstances to maximize the likelihood that children would behave differently in the future.

Keywords: injury prevention; parent–child communication; unintentional childhood injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Parenting*
  • Safety*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*