Child safety in preschool years - what do caregivers know?
Introduction: Accidents in the early years of childhood are the leading cause of morbidity and premature mortality. This study aimed to assess preschool children caregivers’ knowledge about child safety.
Methods: Cross-sectional study, using a structured selfadministered questionnaire to caregivers in a Family Healthcare Unit, between September and December 2014.
Results: Fifty-six caregivers agreed to participate, 80% females, median age (minimum-maximum) of 34 (22-63) years, caregivers of 99 children, with a mean 1.7 child/family. Eightynine percent routinely search about child safety and 37% states that it is topic discussed in all child healthcare visits. Only 14% answered all road safety questions correctly and despite 95% use a child-restraint system, only 18% applies it properly. In drowning prevention, only 31% promotes the use of inflatable swimming armbands and 11% of caregivers allows unsupervised play in the bathtub. In relation to falls prevention, we highlight that baby walkers are handled by 41% and only 29% of caregivers perform all appropriate preventive measures. Burn avoidance was the subject with greater shortcomings, with a total of 27% correct attitudes, and none of the caregivers answered accurately to all questions. On the other hand, choking and poisoning were the areas with higher rates of correct answers (54% and 41% respectively).
Conclusions: Child safety proved to be a caregivers’ concern. However, daily incorrect behaviors are still common. Health care professionals have the responsibility to promote more effective awareness programs and approach this topic to caregivers more regularly in their practice.
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