Out of harm's way: Does injury prevention education in schools really work?

February 26, 2013, University of Nottingham
Out of harm's way: Does injury prevention education in schools really work?

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers is to examine whether learning about injury prevention in school really can help to prevent a distressing trip to the A&E department for children and their parents.

Education programmes in schools that teach children how to keep themselves and others out of harm's way are commonplace but, until now, there has never been a comprehensive study into whether they work and offer good value for money to cash-strapped local authorities.

The team from The University of Nottingham's Division of Primary Care and School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy are to conduct a large scale review of previous smaller studies on health and safety lessons in the classroom to compile the evidence on whether such programmes are effective.

The results could help health trusts and local councils to focus precious resources on programmes that are proven to work and provide valuable information on how best to further improve current injury prevention services locally.

Dr Elizabeth Orton in the University's Division of Primary Care said: "Children spend so much of their time in school that it seems an obvious place to deliver injury prevention programmes because, in essence, schools have a captive audience. We know that these programmes are also extremely popular with teachers, pupils and parents."

"However, in reality we don't really know how effective these programmes are in helping children to keep themselves and others safe from harm. Our study will be the first systematic review of its kind to attempt to establish whether these school-based programmes actually work."

More than 135,000 children in England were admitted to hospital following an injury in 2009/10 (the latest figures available from the South West Public Health Observatory).

During their time in school, many children across the UK will receive some kind of education on health and safety issues, everything from the importance of wearing a cycle helmet or a seatbelt to the vital need for smoke alarms in the home.

Does injury prevention education work?

In the city of Nottingham, school children learn to take responsibility for managing their own risk and are taught what to do in an emergency by I.M.P.S (Injury Minimisation Programme for Schools) part-funded by the Nottingham City Primary Care Trust. The programme offers lessons on injury prevention in school to 10 and 11-year-old pupils and also provides children with the opportunity to visit the emergency department at the Queen's Medical Centre. This aims to set what they have learned in the classroom into a real-life context and also introduces them to the medical setting to reduce anxiety if they ever do need to visit the department following an injury.

The Nottingham researchers are conducting a Cochrane Review—the gold standard in research systematic reviews—and will compare the results of previous studies that have examined the incidence of injuries among children who have received injury prevention education in schools with those who haven't. They will also look at previously unpublished research. The research is being funded in part by NHS Nottingham City.

They hope to identify strong indicators that will tell them whether this type of education works and, if so, which elements work particularly well. They will also compare the costs of providing the different types of programmes covered by the studies.

Explore further: Unintentional child injuries, deaths can be prevented, health researchers say

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … 58.CD010246/abstract

Related Stories

Unintentional child injuries, deaths can be prevented, health researchers say

April 29, 2011
Patricia Schnitzer, associate professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, says that most unintentional child injury deaths of young children result from inadequate supervision or failure to protect children from harm. ...

Inpatient brain injury education increases bike helmet use, study finds

November 8, 2012
A 30-minute brain injury education program taught in the hospital may increase children's use of bicycle helmets, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report.

Researchers reveal formula for success in increasing smoke alarm use

December 16, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- The most effective strategy to encourage more people to have a working smoke alarm in their homes has been revealed by a team of healthcare researchers.

Academic issues warning on schoolboy rugby

September 29, 2011
A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine highlights the injury risks for schoolboys playing rugby.

School hearing tests: Are they as good as they sound?

October 9, 2012
Should every primary school pupil in the UK be given a hearing test and what's the most effective way of doing it? These are questions that a team of academics from Nottingham and Exeter will be tackling as part of a new ...

Recommended for you

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

January 23, 2018
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.