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Study: AAP program leads to reduction in childhood injuries

April 1, 2024

Implementation of an AAP injury prevention program was associated with a significant reduction in injuries reported by parents of young children, according to a study published today in Pediatrics.

Research shows that unintentional injuries are responsible for about 10% of outpatient visits by children. The AAP developed The Injury Prevention Program (TIPP) in 1983 to help pediatricians provide anticipatory guidance on injury prevention from the newborn period through age 12. TIPP includes written information for parents on topics such as car injuries, falls, burns, firearm injuries, bicycle crashes, drowning, poisoning and choking.

This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of TIPP in reducing injuries in a large, diverse sample of young children. To do so, researchers conducted a randomized, controlled study at four university-affiliated pediatric continuity clinics. They reported their findings in “The Injury Prevention Program to Reduce Early Childhood Injuries: A Cluster Randomized Trial” (Perrin EM, et al. Pediatrics. April 1, 2024).

Parents of children at two clinics received injury-prevention counseling from trained residents, and the other two clinics provided an obesity-prevention intervention to parents (active control group).

At each preventive care visit from 4 to 24 months, parents were asked how many times their child had been injured since the last visit. Injuries could include cuts, burns, bruises or other harms that resulted from falls, car crashes, heat, choking, a gun, swallowing a poison or drowning.

The study included 781 parent-child dyads. About half of caregivers identified as Hispanic/Latino, 28% as non-Hispanic Black and 17% as non-Hispanic white. About 60% had an annual household income of less than $20,000, and 27% had less than a high school education.

Parents reported more injuries among older children (3% of 2-month-olds had at least one injury vs. 40% of 2-year-olds). Falls were the most common cause of injuries.

Results also showed significantly fewer injuries were reported at clinics that implemented TIPP compared to those with obesity-prevention programs. When comparing intervention to active control sites, the adjusted odds ratios associated with more reported injuries were 0.77, 0.60, 0.32, 0.26 and 0.27 at 4, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, respectively.

In addition, households with at least four children had fewer injuries than those with one child, and Spanish-speaking Latino caregivers reported fewer injuries than those who spoke English.

“Although further research is needed to determine if TIPP prevents serious injuries and prevents injuries in nontraining settings, our study provides important evidence that a primary care-based intervention can be effective in reducing injury,” the authors concluded.



The Injury Prevention Program (TIPP)

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