An injury prevention program in an urban African-American community

Am J Public Health. 1993 May;83(5):675-80. doi: 10.2105/ajph.83.5.675.


Objectives: Injury is a major US public health problem, particularly in urban minority communities. This paper evaluates the impact of the Safe Block Project, a comprehensive injury prevention trial, on home hazards and injury prevention knowledge in a poor urban African-American community.

Methods: Nine census tracts in the community were allocated to either the intervention area or the control area. The intervention, carried out by trained community outreach workers, consisted of (1) home modification for simple prevention measures, (2) home inspection accompanied by information about home hazards, and (3) education about selected injury prevention practices. Approximately 12 months after the intervention, random samples of control and intervention homes were assessed for home hazards and injury prevention knowledge.

Results: A significantly larger proportion of intervention homes than control homes had functioning smoke detectors, syrup of ipecac, safely stored medications, and reduced electrical and tripping hazards. No consistent differences were observed between control and intervention homes on home hazards requiring major effort to correct.

Conclusions: There was a distinct difference between control and intervention homes with respect to safety knowledge and home hazards requiring minimal to moderate effort to correct. The Safe Block Project could serve as a model for future urban injury prevention efforts.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black or African American*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Education
  • Housing / standards
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings / standards
  • Middle Aged
  • Philadelphia
  • Poverty
  • Urban Population*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*