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J Burn Care Res. 2006 Nov-Dec;27(6):859-63.

Results of a focused scald-prevention program.

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Department of Surgery, University Medical Center, Fresno, California 95389, USA.


Scalds are a leading cause of burn injury for young children. A focused prevention program was developed in the zip code accounting for the majority of scald burns. This study investigated the effect of the program. Families in the high-risk area were identified at clinics, community centers, and schools. Parent workshops and home visits were the interventions used. A pretest was administered at the workshop to measure baseline knowledge. A post-test was administered at either the home visit or by telephone to measure change in knowledge. A survey was used to measure baseline scald risks in the home. Home visits were used to reinforce information from workshops, evaluate the home environment, and assist parents to make environmental changes. Changes to the home environments were made, with antiscald devices installed in the shower, sink, or bathtub depending on parent preference. The survey was repeated on a follow-up home visit to determine whether parents adhered to environmental changes and safety practices. The postmeasurements were performed from 6 to 12 months after the initial measurement. More than 900 parents attended the initial workshops, and 173 consented to participate in the follow-up study and took the pretest. Of these, 62 completed the post-test, and 48 participated in a home visit. The mean pretest score was 72 +/- 1%, and mean post-test score was 85 +/- 1% (P < .01). The initial home visit surveys revealed an average of 7 +/- 2 scald risks per household, whereas follow-up surveys showed an average of 2 +/- 1 risks (P < .01). Antiscald devices were installed in 37 households on the initial visit and remained in place and functioning in 22 households (60%) on the follow-up visit. Before the focused prevention program, the admission rate from the target zip code was 137 per 100,000 children ages 0 to 5 years. After the intervention, there was a greater than 2-fold reduction, to 59 per 100,000 (P < .01). In addition, there were no new scald burns in the homes in which the focused prevention program took place. This study demonstrates that a focused burn-prevention program can identify high-risk groups, decrease the number of scald risks per home, and decrease the rate of scald burns in the population. This straightforward program could be used to intervene in high-risk groups in other communities.

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