Supervision Study: Background

Although injury rates have been declining, in most developed nations, injuries remain the leading cause of death and number of years of life lost for children (World Health Organization, 2005). For young children, despite the presumed presence of a caregiver, the home setting is the most common location of injury, accounting for about 50% of all injuries experienced by 2-5 year-olds (McDonald et al., 2003). Awareness that injury constitutes a major health threat for children, coupled with evidence that a majority of these events are preventable (Rimsza, Schackner, Bowen, & Marshall, 2002), has led to many calls for the development of effective interventions to reduce this health burden (Gielen, Sleet, & DiClemente, 2006; Miller, Romano, & Spicer, 2000). Addressing this need, this research targets caregivers of young children using a comprehensive program, Supervising for Safety, that incorporates both a video that was developed based on extensive qualitative research with parent participants (Morrongiello, Zdzieborski, & Sandomierski, 2009) and tailored (i.e., personalized) activities that parents completed and that functioned to make them self-aware about their supervision practices and ways to improve these. Results of a randomized controlled trial that was recently completed by Morrongiello and her colleagues confirms the program is effective to positively impact parents’ appraisals of children’s need for supervision, commitment to more actively supervising, and their actual supervisory practices. The ongoing research explores dissemination strategies, with the goal of identifying ‘best practices’ to ensure broad dissemination of the Supervising for Safety program.

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