Computer Helps Improve Child Safety -- COMPAMED Trade Fair

Parents who received safety information tailored to their family’s specific circumstances were significantly more likely to follow safety recommendations compared to parents who received general information.

“Injuries are the leading cause of death for children in the United States. We have effective ways to prevent injuries, like smoke detectors and car safety seats, but many families, especially low income families, remain unprotected,” said Andrea Carlson Gielen, ScD, ScM, lead author of the study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The randomized controlled trial of the “Safety in Seconds” program involved 759 parents of young children ages four to 66 months. The participants used a computer kiosk set up for parents in the emergency department of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center to answer a series of questions about their children, their own experiences and personal beliefs about safety. Then the computer generated a personalized safety report for them based on their responses. The control group received a generic health report.

The researchers conducted follow-up interviews with the parents to see how they responded to the safety messages. According to the results, the parents who received the customized safety reports scored significantly higher on knowledge of smoke alarm use and safe poison storage; they were also more likely to report correct child safety seat use.

Ninety-three percent of the intervention parents said they read at least some of the safety report while 57 percent said they read the entire report. Lower-income parents who read the tailored reports were more likely to store poisons in the home safely compared to the control group. Higher-income parents in the intervention group were more likely to report correct child safety seat use than the control group parents. The intervention was equally effective for those with injured children and those who were being seen for a medical problem.; Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health