Parents' self-reported behaviors related to health and safety of very young children

J Sch Health. 1996 Sep;66(7):247-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.1996.tb06279.x.


This survey documented self-reported health and safety behaviors of parents of children enrolled in Head Start programs. The sample consisted of eight preschool programs (n = 1143) from different geographical areas of the country. This survey obtained baseline data on parent self-reported behavior as it relates to priority issues in child health and safety. A 25-item questionnaire assessed parents' behavior related to injury prevention, fire and electrical safety, firearm storage, poison prevention, automobile safety, and child supervision. More than 90% of parents reported they use car seats, teach handwashing and pedestrian safety, and keep medicine and alcohol out of children's reach. Fewer than 60%, however, reported they keep guns and bullets stored separately and locked, possess a working fire extinguisher, or have the poison control telephone number available. Findings provide direction for emphasis for those developing or implementing a comprehensive family health education program.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Welfare*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Data Collection
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Safety*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires