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Child Care Health Dev. 2008 Sep;34(5):682-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2008.00849.x.

Parenting interventions and the prevention of unintentional injuries in childhood: systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Division of Primary Care, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.



To evaluate the effectiveness of parenting interventions in preventing unintentional injury and increasing parental safety practices.


A range of medical and social science electronic databases were searched. Abstracts from the first to seventh World conferences on injury prevention and control and the journal Injury Prevention were hand searched.


Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), non-randomized controlled trials (non-RCTs) and controlled before and after studies, providing parenting interventions to parents of children aged 0-18 years and reporting injuries, safety equipment or safety practices were included. Studies were selected, data extracted and quality appraised independently by two reviewers. Pooled relative risks were estimated using random effect models.


Fifteen studies (11 RCTs) were included, 11 of which were home visiting programmes and two of which were paediatric practice-based interventions. Thirteen studies recruited families at risk of adverse child health outcomes. Intervention arm families had a significantly lower risk of injury (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.71-0.95), as measured by self-report of medically or non-medically attended injury. Several studies found fewer home hazards, a home environment more conducive to child safety, or a greater number of safety practices in intervention arm families.


Parenting interventions, most commonly provided within the home, using multi-faceted interventions appear to be effective in reducing unintentional child injury. Further research is required to explore the mechanisms by which parenting interventions reduce injury, the features of interventions that are necessary to reduce injury, and their generalizability to different population groups.

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