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Childhood Injury

1. Parental safety concerns- a barrier to sport and physical activity in children?

Centre Investigators
Soufiane Boufous, Caroline Finch

Prof Adrian Bauman (School of Public Health, University of Sydney)

An analysis of 2001 New South Wales Child Health Survey revealed that Over a quarter of parents/carers of active children aged 5–12 years reported discouraging or preventing children from playing a particularsport (34.7 % for boys and 16.6% for girls) because of injury and safety concerns. In boys, the most frequently discouraged sport was rugby league (23.2%), followed by rugby union (7.5 %) and Australian rules football (2.8%). Among girls, the most frequently discouraged activities were rollerblading (2.7%), rugby league (2.3%), and soccer (2.1%). Multivariate analysis shows that factors independently associated with parent’s decision to prevent/discourage their child from engaging in sport/physical activity include child’s age and gender, language spoken at home, presence of disability and the respondent’s relation to child.

2. The epidemiology of hospitalised scalds in vulnerable groups, NSW 1998-2003

Centre Investigator
Caroline Finch

Information on scalds cases was obtained from the Inpatient Statistics Collection (ISC) which covers all inpatient separations/discharges from acute hospitals in New South Wales (NSW) between July 1998 and June 2003. Scalds, including those related to hot-tap water, were analysed by gender, age, type and location of injury in children aged less than 5 years and older people aged at least 65 years. Information regarding hospitalisation outcomes, in terms of length of stay and mortality, was also examined. Age-specific admission rates were computed in order to examine the impact of the recently introduced regulation requiring all new hot water installations to deliver hot water at outlets used primarily for personal hygiene purposes at a temperature not exceeding 50ºC.

3. Soft Landings: Encouraging Compliance with Playground Safety Standards in Local Council

Centre Investigator
Shauna Sherker

Playground related injury is a serious and common childhood event, resulting in substantial trauma and treatment costs. Hospitalisation rates have increased, despite stringent Australia playground safety standards being introduced in 1996. This trend appears to be driven in part by a lack of compliance with playground safety standards. This study aims to identify how metropolitan and non-metropolitan local governments enforce regulations for playground safety, including conduct of playground inspections and playground maintenance. Further, this study aims to identify the barriers and facilitators to playground safety standard compliance in local government, and to highlight examples of best practices. A survey of key informants for playground safety in all 153 NSW councils will begin in April 2005.



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