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Burns. 1995 Jun;21(4):259-66.

The Harstad Injury Prevention Study: prevention of burns in small children by a community-based intervention.

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Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, Breivika, Norway.


Burns are known to cause considerable morbidity and mortality, and scalding is the most common type of burn injury in small children. A community-based injury prevention programme was initiated in the Norwegian city of Harstad (22,000 inhabitants) in 1987 and evaluated by means of data from a hospital-based injury recording system. One part of the programme aimed at reducing burns in children below 5 years of age. Accident analyses based on the local database revealed coffee to be the most frequent liquid causing scalds, which mostly occurred in the kitchen. Sixty-six per cent of the injured were boys and two-thirds were below 2 years of age. The prevention study was divided in a baseline period (19.5 months) with no local intervention-and a succeeding 7-year period containing a wide range of active and passive prevention strategies. From the first to the second period the mean burn injury rate decreased 52.9 per cent, from 52.4 to 24.7 per 10,000 person years (P < 0.05). In a reference city located 1,000 km away, the rates increased from 61.9 to 68.0 per 10,000 person years (NS). The burn injury rate reduction was considered mainly attributable to the strengthening of public participation and the enhancement of community empowerment achieved by recording and actively using the local burn injury data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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