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J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 1999;74(1-2):207-26.

Knowledge and perception of professionals towards school injuries.

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Public Health Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt.


As injuries remain a threat to children everywhere including school, this study was undertaken to reveal the knowledge and perceptions of school physicians, nurses, teachers and social workers regarding school injuries. To accomplish this aim, all school-based clinics operated by a physician were identified. All physicians and nurses were included in this survey. In addition, a teacher or a social worker was randomly selected from the same school. They were requested to fill in a questionnaire to collect relevant information. Findings indicate that school injury is not perceived as a priority problem by all social workers and 68.5% of teachers. Moreover, its economic burden was not perceived by one third of physicians and nurses. Regarding associated risk factors, more than 80% of the surveyed professionals recognized nine out of the 16 stated factors as a risk for school injuries. However, less than 80% viewed that the risk of school injury is higher in technical schools, schools which include more than one educational stage as well as in the evening shift. Moreover, less than 80% of nurses recognized that a higher risk is associated with poorly kept school building, primary schools and methods of transportation. Furthermore, less than 80% of teachers recognized that boys are at a much higher risk of injuries. Surveyed professionals ranked increase supervision, continuous maintenance of school building as well as health education activities as priority preventive strategies. Mass media was the method of health education that received the highest priority while the least were pupils' activities and the organization of an injury prevention day. It can be concluded that, school professionals, exceptionally teachers and social workers need to be aware of the extent of school injuries and the risks associated with their occurrence. Such awareness is the key issue in ensuring the safety of children while they are at school. Moreover, it is indispensable for the planning and implementation of effective preventive strategies. They should also recognize that pupils' involvement is a highly effective mean of creating awareness about safety and to encourage them to take the responsibility of their safety as well as that of other pupils. Organized training programs directed to all personnel in the area of school injuries are deemed essential.

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