Injury Prevention in Children: A Primer for Students and Practitioners

Injury Prevention in Children: A Primer for Students and Practitioners

Injury Prevention in Children: A Primer for Students and Practitioners

Injury Prevention in Children: A Primer for Students and Practitioners


Injuries are not random events. They are predictable and avoidable, and yet they are the largest single cause of mortality in children and young people. Governments, professionals, and public health agencies around the world now recognize the huge toll of avoidable suffering and expenditure that is caused by injuries. Moreover, such injuries are strongly socially-patterned, disproportionately affecting disadvantaged individuals, families, and communities, and thereby contributing to health inequalities. Over the past few decades, a formidable amount of research evidence has accumulated that will guide practitioners and policy makers in child injury prevention. The full implementation of the existing body of evidence can substantially reduce the incidence and impact of injuries. This informal, yet authoritative, introductory text - written for both graduate and undergraduate students - summarizes the key principles of child injury prevention and discusses how these may be translated most effectively into practice. With its public health perspective, the book is also informative for professionals and policy makers working in injury prevention.


Purpose and scope of the book

Injury prevention remains a relatively neglected branch of public health. As it rises up the political and professional agenda, as it is bound to do given the increasing emphasis on an evidence-based and data-driven approach, the need for high-quality training materials will inevitably grow. This book is an introductory text that summarises the key principles of injury prevention and how these may be translated most effectively into practice and policy-making. Its perspective is a public health one, and the writing style informal, jargon-light and accessible yet authoritative.

The focus of the book is on children, defined loosely as people up to schoolleaving age – any where between 14 and 19 years old. The World Health Organization, taking its cue from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, suggests that birth to 18 years is the appropriate range, although, in the absence of an internationally accepted definition of childhood, some degree of flexibility is required. This book has sought to follow that precedent. As for injury, most types are included, whether intentional (violence and self-harm) or unintentional ('accidental'). Unfortunately, some topics have received short shrift either through lack of space or because the interested reader is well served by alternative texts. One of these is travel safety, a term that should encompass injury prevention despite its strong emphasis on infectious diseases. Another that receives minimal attention is occupational safety as it generally refers to the adult working population (although child labour, both legal and illegal, remains all too common in many parts of the world). Also excluded are most forms of sporting injuries, psychological trauma that is unrelated to physical injury, and adverse effects or complications of medical interventions.

Who is this book for?

The majority of readers will probably not be entering injury prevention full time but will wish to undertake injury prevention or safety promotion training modules for the purpose of accreditation or promotion. Potential readers include medical and nursing undergraduate/postgraduate students, public health trainees, community safety professionals, local authority officials, research students, civil servants, politicians and journalists. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is needed, but some . . .

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