Caregiver worry and injury hazards in the daily lives of Ugandan children
Keywords:Wounds and Injury, Safety, Child, Uganda
Background: Over 95% of unintentional injury-related childhood deaths globally occur in low- and middle-income countries, such as Uganda. Risks for injury in settings like rural Uganda are vastly understudied despite differing patterns of child injury risk. The present study investigated the prevalence and type of hazards in children’s environments in rural Uganda, as well as the relationship between hazard exposure and parent attitudes and perceptions regarding unintentional injury.
Methods: Our sample included 152 primary caregivers in Eastern Rural Uganda who had children in either 1st or 6th grade. All parents/guardians completed caregiver surveys following verbal instructions. Surveys assessed demographic information, child hazard exposure, and parent beliefs regarding child injury.
Results: Almost all parents (98.5%) reported daily exposure for their children to at least one of the hazards assessed. Caregiver's perceived likelihood of child injury was positively related to hazard exposure (r = .21, p less than .05). This relationship remained significant when controlling for family demographics, child grade level, and child injury history (F (7, 126) = 2.25, p less than .05).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that Ugandan parents are aware of the risks of children’s exposure to hazards, but may lack the tools to address it. Development of injury prevention interventions focusing on behavioral change techniques may help reduce childhood injury and injury-related deaths in Uganda.
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