Interventions to improve parental supervision to prevent child injuries

Conclusion: Indications for effectiveness

Since no systematic reviews on the topic of interventions to improve parental supervision , this evidence statement is based on only three individual studies (Brown et al., 2005; Morrongiello et al.; 2009; Morrongiello et al., 2012). These studies show some indications for effectiveness. The Morrongiello study (2009) was a non-experimental study to explore what messaging approaches are best to persuade parents to supervise more closely. Data were self-reported and obtained from group discussions with parents. This study yielded no information on the effectiveness of messaging approaches. The study by Brown (2005) found that parents who were exposed to a video of their own child playing with simulated hazards improved home safety practices (decrease of home hazards) and reported more conservative responses to the acceptability of various common supervision practices. Morrongiello et al. (2012) found that their intervention (Watchful Parents, Safe Children video) positively impacted on a range of appraisals related to injury risk and supervision, and almost all these effects were still found after 12 months.

Recommendations (for research & practice)

For research
Inadequate supervision is often cited as a causative factor in injury and death. More research is needed to better understand and to document this view. The current status of the literature on supervision may limit what can be done to prevent unintentional injuries and deaths in children (Mack et al, 2008).

More extensive research on the topic is necessary for more definite conclusions, preferably randomized controlled trials covering a large and representative (e.g. education, etnicity, gender) sample size over an extensive period of time.

The effectiveness of other intervention strategies besides the use of videos should also be explored.

For practice
While future evidence is awaited, child health and social care providers should continue to provide information about the value of parental supervision in order to prevent injuries in children. However, providers must ensure that the interventions are based on the latest evidence, are planned using sound public health principles, and are rigorously evaluated.

Review Date: 17/07/2012
Version: 1.1
Status: Publish

Articles (reviews) and reports were included that were published between 1980 and 2011, in English and Dutch. The outcomes of the study were reviewed by the Dutch Consumer Safety Institute.

Strategy: An online literature search was performed by a researcher of the Consumer Safety Institute and after this a more thorough search was performed by the documentation centre of CSI (Catalog CenV, Pubmed, Injury lit, Google, Websites, 'Grey' literature). Results of each search were compared on differences and potential missed studies were added. First the titles and then abstracts were scanned in order to include relevant studies. In the case of insufficient information obtained from abstracts the full text articles were obtained. Relevant articles were scrutinized and background documents were created. In addition, relevant references of included articles were checked on new and relevant articles (i.e., snowball search).

The outcomes of the study were reviewed by an expert in the field of child safety in the autumn of 2012.

Background documents

Effects of parental viewing of children's risk behavior on home safety practices (version 1.0)
Keri J. Brown, Micheal C. Roberts, Sunny Mayes ... [et al.] (2005)

Video messaging: what works to persuade mothers to supervise young children more closely in order to reduce injury risk? (version 1.2)
B.A. Morrongiello, D. Zdzieborski, M. Sandomierski ... [et al.] (2009)

A randomized controlled trial evaluating the impact of the Supervising for Home Safety program on parent appraisals of injury risk and need to actively supervise (version 1.0)
Barbara A. Morrongiello, Megan Sandom