Unintentional childhood injuries in the home: the perceptions of first time mothers on the risk factors in Delft, Cape Town
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Injuries continue to be a significant health problem in children. Injuries put more children in hospital than any other single cause. Injuries to children are due to falls, burns, poisoning, crushing, suffocation, traffic incidents and other causes both intentional and unintentional. Preschool children most commonly experience injuries in the home where they spend most of their time. The Western Cape Department of Health has decided to focus on the prevention of unintentional injuries to preschool children in and around the home. It is necessary to first determine the risk factors to these injuries before embarking on safety promotion and injury prevention programmes. To date there have been no studies documented in South Africa looking at the perceptions of the risk factors associated with household unintentional childhood injuries of first time mothers. This study therefore attempted to explore the perceptions of risk factors of first time mothers in Delft. Delft was chosen because it is a low-income area (which is recognised as being a risk factor to unintentional childhood injuries) and it is one of the pilot sites for the injury prevention programme of the Western Cape Department of Health.