ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Parents’ Attitudes and Adherence to Unintentional Injury Prevention Measures in Ankara, Turkey
Tolga İnce 1, Songül Yalçın 1, Kadriye Yurdakök 1
1Department of Pediatrics, Social Pediatrics Unit, Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.2016.1776
Pages : 335-342

Background: Childhood unintentional injuries are perceived as a leading public health issue since they are one of the preventable causes of paediatric mortality and morbidity. Whether and how parental factors are related to childhood injury has been researched insufficiently.
Aims: To investigate parents’ attitudes to preventive measures of unintentional childhood injury, and the parental adherence to these measures.
Study Design: Cross-sectional, descriptive study.
Methods: The data were collected from the parents of children younger than ten years of age admitted to university hospital outpatient clinics for any reason and who agreed to be involved in the study. The first part of the questionnaire included sociodemographic profiles of participating children. Serious injuries were considered to be any injury that requires hospital admission. The second part of the questionnaire was prepared to evaluate parents’ adherence to injury prevention rules. A total score calculation about the adherence of the parents to the injury prevention rules was worked out the addition of the scores of each answer given in each age group. Answers for each item given by the parents were scored as wrong (0), sometimes (1) or correct (2). The score for each item was added and the result normalized to 100 points. Only complete questionnaires were used for analysis.
Results: A total of 1126 children and parent pairs agreed to participate in the survey. It was found that 13.8% of the participating children had experienced at least one serious injury. Although three-quarters of the parents had received information about injury prevention, the overall injury prevention scores were found to be low. As children’s age increased, the total injury prevention scores of parents decreased significantly. Injury prevention scores were shown to increase significantly with high education and maternal occupation. However, scores were shown to decrease significantly with increased child age and family size.
Conclusion: Our study shows that parental adherence to the child safety measures aimed at decreasing the unintentional injury risk of children is not satisfactory in Turkey. In particular, parents of 5-9-year-old children, big families (more than five people), parents with less than 8 years of education and non-working mothers should be the main target groups for intervention strategies according to our study results.

Keywords : Children, injury prevention, parents, unintentional injury
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