Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Promoting children's home safety.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 23 October 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:1177
  1. A F Colver,
  2. P J Hutchinson,
  3. E C Judson


    Home accidents are the main cause of death and morbidity in early childhood. Working-class children are at greatest risk. A study in an inner city area of the effects of a national television campaign about child accident prevention and of a locally designed health education initiative showed that 55% of families with young children in the study area did not watch any of the television programmes. Only 9% of a group specially encouraged to watch the programmes took any action to make their homes safer. In a comparable group who also received a home visit at which specific advice was given 60% took action to make their homes safer. The families studied were well aware before the television campaign of the importance and preventability of children's accidents. The problems disadvantaged families face are therefore not ones of ignorance or apathy about hazards but practical difficulties in converting their concern into action. Administrative arrangements must be developed for providing health workers--especially health visitors--with detailed local information to pass on to parents.